$1K bail for alleged iPhone thief


A former convict has been arrested anew after admitting to stealing an iPhone. His bail was set at$1,000 cash.

Peterson Keju, 27, who served a seven-month prison term for assault and battery in 2017, was arrested again, this time for stealing an iPhone X worth $1,300 from the owner of Serene Restaurant in Garapan.

Keju is now facing charges of theft. Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth Govendo set his bail at $1,000.

Keju was remanded back to the Department of Corrections following his bail hearing last Wednesday.

Keju is set for a preliminary hearing on April 4 at 1:30pm and is scheduled for an arraignment on April 8 at 9am.

According to court information, Keju was arrested after police reviewed surveillance footage acquired from Serene Restaurant. Keju was spotted stealing the iPhone after the victim reported the matter. Keju also admitted to the theft.

Last March 13, police responded to a call from Serene Restaurant owner Lin Lin Chen, who reported a theft that occurred in her establishment. It wasn’t until the early hours of March 14, 2019, however, that surveillance footage from the restaurant was reviewed and a suspect was identified.

The surveillance footage spotted a man wearing a green T-shirt, black shorts, black- and blue-colored hat, and slippers take the phone from the cashier’s counter where Chen had left it and slip it into his front pocket.

After acquiring the description of the suspect, police spotted a man at Winchell’s Susupe that fit the description. The man spotted was later identified as Keju. Keju was immediately remanded to DOC.

At DOC, Keju admitted to stealing the cellphone and told police that he sold the phone to a man named Ed, who was reportedly homeless but knew how to unlock phones.

According to CNMI law, if the value of the property is at least $250 but less than $20,000, theft is punishable by up to five years imprisonment.

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.
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