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Habitual thief who targeted Oahu stores gets five-year sentence

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                                Yolanda Pusi


    Yolanda Pusi

“Serial thief” Yolanda Pusi was sentenced today to five years’ imprisonment for stealing a vacuum cleaner from Target. The vacuum cleaner was among items stolen from Oahu retailers in a six-month span amounting to more than $27,900 in merchandise.

The 46-year-old woman was one of several habitual thieves that Honolulu Prosecutor Steve Alm’s office set its sights on. She got half the 10-year prison sentence prosecutors sought.

Pusi pleaded no contest to nine counts of second-degree theft and two counts of habitual property crime for stealing merchandise on 11 separate occasions from December 2021 to May 2022 from Oahu retail stores.

“Retail theft is a serious crime,” Alm said in a news release. “It not only hurts the merchants that suffer losses, but victimizes all of us because the cost of stolen items is passed along to the consumer.

“We will continue to charge serial thieves with Habitual Property Crime. It is a felony offense that allows us to seek more jail time for people who rip off retailers again and again.”

Pusi stole the vacuum cleaner on Feb. 17 from the Ala Moana Target store. She was charged May 17, 2022 with one count of habitual property crime regarding the vacuum cleaner theft.

The Prosecutor’s Office was able to pursue the habitual property crime charge, a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison because she had five prior felony convictions for burglary, theft, unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle and promoting a dangerous drug.

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