LIHUE — A Lihue airport employee convicted of stealing a passenger’s laptop computer was sentenced to 30 days in jail and four years probation Wednesday.
Alicea Borja, 46, Eleele, worked with Aloha Contract Services. She was convicted with stealing a laptop left behind by a tourist at the baggage claim on March 11, 2015, according to court records.
“When visitors come here, they don’t expect their items to be taken by airport employees and that’s exactly what happened here,” said deputy prosecutor Rebecca Vogt.
Defense attorney Kai Lawrence said his client was apologetic and had no intention of stealing a laptop.
“She didn’t actually go out and find the person; it was brought to her,” Lawrence said. “She made the bad decision to not take care of it right away. She took the wrong steps.”
Borja apologized to the court and said she “had so many things on her mind” the day of the incident because her husband — and co-defendant — had been sick.
A software investigator was able to determine that Borja and her husband, John Borja, had logged onto the computer and created profiles for Facebook and had even had filled out an application to take out a personal loan, Vogt said. A search warrant was executed on their home and the computer was recovered after more than month.
The Borjas were charged with theft in the second degree, a class C felony, and unauthorized computer access in the third degree on June 29, 2015.
Henry Wu, human resources manager at Aloha Contract Services, declined to discuss the case. He did, however, confirm that any employee charged and convicted of a felony would lose their Air Operations Area badge. Essentially, they would lose their job, he said.
Although neither the defense nor the state were asking for jail time or probation due to his health, Fifth Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Watanabe sentenced John Borja to one year of probation with a 10-day suspended jail term.
“You may have been less culpable than your wife, but the point is that you acknowledge that computer obviously belonged to someone else,” she said.