A 49-year-old man was found guilty today of snatching a 95-year-old man’s wallet in a Chinatown market, a crime captured on surveillance video that sparked widespread outrage in Hawaii.
Judge Russel Nagata sentenced Remik Ungeni to 15 days in jail today for fourth-degree theft with credit for time served in connection with the Jan. 16 theft at the Oahu Market.
Fourth-degree theft is a petty misdemeanor that carries penalties of up to 30 days in jail.
Ungeni chose not to testify at his trial. “I have nothing to say,” he said through a Chuukese interpreter.
He is being held in lieu of $11,000 bail at the Oahu Community Correctional Center for a separate theft casein which he is accused of grabbing an 80-year-old woman’s wallet or small purse from her hand at the same market in August. In that case, prosecutors charged him with second-degree theft, a class C felony that carries penalties of up to five years in prison. His trial is set for April.
During the trial today, property manager Cynthia Yoshida of the Mayor Wright Homes complex testified that she instantly recognized Ungeni as the man in a surveillance video of the Jan. 16 theft. Yoshida said he has been a resident at the complex since 2007. Yoshida testified that Mayor Wright maintenance staff showed her the surveillance footage of the theft. The video has been widely circulated on social media.