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Kaimuki man charged with theft in tree-trimming case

A 31-year-old Kaimuki man is scheduled to appear in court Monday in connection with a scam involving nearly a dozen East Honolulu senior citizens in which he allegedly collected money to trim trees and then skipped out on the work.

Vilisoni Sekope Mafi, 31, was charged yesterday with three counts of second-degree theft and five counts of third-degree theft. His bail was set at $50,000.

Mafi, of Palani Avenue, was arrested at the main police station about 7 p.m. Thursday.

Police said the 10 victims are in their 60s through 90s and were scammed between June 23 and Wednesday.

Mafi has nine convictions in Hawaii, including two felonies for terroristic threatening and escape, according to the state’s Criminal Justice Data Center website.

He was convicted of driving without a license in June and sentenced to pay court fees and 60 hours of community service, the website said.

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