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Man with 161 prior convictions pleads not guilty to string of thefts in Waikiki

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Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 3:40 PM HST|Updated: Jan. 20, 2022 at 4:40 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A 36-year-old man accused of a series of thefts in Waikiki pleaded not guilty in court on Thursday.

Officials said Lawrence Smalls is a serial offender and has been charged with two counts of felony habitual property crime relating incidents at the Cheesecake Factory.

Prosecutors said Smalls allegedly stole alcohol from the restaurant on two separate occasions in October 2021.

He has 161 prior convictions, and officials said these alleged offenses are the latest in a long string of crimes he committed, which include other thefts, harassment and criminal trespassing.

Smalls is currently being held at Oahu Community Correctional Center on $20,000 bail.

Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm said the department is working with Honolulu police and local retailers to crack down on habitual theft. They are working to identify and charge those who repeatedly steal from businesses.

Officials said that while individual instances of theft may only qualify for misdemeanor criminal charges, those who repeatedly steal are eligible for felony charges under Hawaii’s Habitual Property Crime statute.

“Honolulu’s retailers deserve action when it comes to those who repeatedly steal from their businesses,” Alm said. “Habitual thieves don’t just hurt the retailers they steal from, but the public suffers from increased prices as a result of these thefts.”

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