The man who allegedly burglarized the household of NMI Museum director Daniel Aquino was apprehended last Tuesday and is currently detained at the Department of Corrections.
Joshua James Torres Cruz, 27, was apprehended at about 8:37am last June 4 after police found probable cause to arrest him. Aquino identified the jewelry that Cruz was wearing at the time of the arrest to be that of his son’s.
Superior Court Associate Judge Wesley Bogdan imposed a $25,000 cash bail on Cruz and found probable cause to charge him with burglary and theft.
Cruz was ordered to return to court on June 17 at 9am for an arraignment.
Cruz was represented by Jean Pierre Nogues of the Office of the Public Defender, while the government was represented by Chester Hinds of the Office of the Attorney General.
According to the declaration of probable cause, police were given a tip by a confidential source that led to Cruz’s arrest.
The confidential source told police that two men may have been responsible for the burglary because they possessed some of the reported stolen items. However, after police spoke with both men, they both informed police that they got the jewelry from Cruz.
One of the men, who is related to Cruz, told police that Cruz gave him jewelry to pay off a $40 debt. The man, in turn, sold some of the jewelry to the other man, who sold them to multiple pawnshops on island.
The Aquinos were able to recover over $10,000 of their stolen jewelry.
According to Saipan Tribune archives, the Aquino residence in Susupe was broken into between 7am and 11am on April 23 and priceless jewelry and more were taken.
The burglars reportedly rummaged through the house and stole only the jewelry box that contained many family heirlooms and sentimental jewelry.
Aquino said the burglar’s entry point was through a kitchen window that had been pushed in and the screen slashed. The entry point is so small that Aquino believes a child was made to enter the window and then unlock the door.
Aquino said that some of the things that were stolen were their children’s jewelry that they grew out of, a gold bracelet with his wife’s name engraved on it that was given to her by her mother, a diamond ring, rubies, wedding coins, and more, many of which could not be replaced because of their sentimental value. Most of the jewelry and items stolen were given to them as keepsakes by family members.