Saturday, November 28, 2015         

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Alleged impostors held in mall thefts

By Rob Shikina


Working from anonymous tips, detectives arrested two Waianae men yesterday who allegedly posed as military law enforcement officers to commit several thefts at Pearlridge Center.

Pearl City Maj. Greg Lefcourt said witnesses and victims identified the men in a lineup. The suspects were arrested at their home, 87-125 Hakimo Road, at 11:55 a.m., according to arrest records.

Russell M. Vierra, 19, was charged with one count of third-degree theft and four counts of second-degree unlawful imprisonment, all misdemeanors. He was being held on $10,000 bail.

Shandon K. Paulino, 22, was awaiting charges after being arrested on suspicion of felony theft of the second-degree and seven counts of second-degree unlawful imprisonment.

Last week, Honolulu Crime Stoppers requested the public's help to find a man in his 20s after at least seven reports of a military impostor at Pearlridge Center over two weeks.

On July 23, a man approached two teenage boys and told them he was working undercover for the military and showed them what appeared to be a military identification card, police said.

He told the boys they were suspects in a mugging and asked them to follow him to the parking structure. There he told the boys to give him their property for evidence and said he was going to his office to make a report, police said.

Two men were approached on July 28 and told they were suspects in a theft case and a total of five incidents involving a similar suspect occurred on July 31 and Aug. 1. A description of the suspect said he wears a uniform with the nametag "Vierra."

Lefcourt said the men might be connected to a theft case involving a man posing as a security officer at the shopping center in November.

Vierra does not have a criminal record in Hawaii. Paulino was convicted of first-degree assault and second-degree robbery in 2008 and sentenced to one year in prison, according to the state's criminal data center website.

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