Accomplice sentenced two months after burglary of 90-year-old
Unique items caught the eye of pawn shop
"My heart was going a million miles a second," said Jaqui Woods, a seller at Kamaaina Metals in Pearl City.
"It was about this long and about that high," said her boss Ray Rapalee.
"This was her favorite item," said Sean Tiwanak, holding what Rapalee was describing, a jade statue at his grandpa's home.
They were the team that turned a burglar's shopping spree into to a big bust.
"I wasn't going to let them go," said Tiwanak.
He said it was the middle of the day on April 29, 2012.
Tiwanak's 90-year-old grandpa Ray was at home, when Ezekiel DeMello-Corpis broke some jalousies.
Ray was sleeping at the time. The brazen burglar shut the bedroom door then proceeded to steal up to 70 items.
But it was two unique items and some quick thinking that did him in.
"I got on their trail," said Tiwanak.
Within hours, he was on the hunt, checking swap meets, posting fliers, and hitting pawn shops, when he scored.
"I look, and right here on the table is the jade dragon," said Rapalee.
Minutes before, Tiwanak had just called Rapalee.
Not only was it there, at that moment, the people trying to sell it, Ezekiel and his accomplice Diedre DeMello-Corpis, were in the room.
"I was freaking out," said Woods.
She had the wherewithal to distract them, by pretending there were some complications with their deal.
"They didn't even notice when the police walked in," she said.
"Ah, good day! Good day," said Rapalee.
"How you grandpa," Tiwanak asked Ray at his grandfather's kitchen table.
"He has bad dreams and he thinks people are breaking into the house," said Tiwanak.
Tiwanak told KITV4 reporter Lara Yamada they've gotten most of the stolen items back.
Ezekiel was sentenced in September.
Deidre sentenced in November to one year behind bars.
It is some justice served, but he knows the damage is done.
The family home, the generations of memories are shaken, but still here.
"I'm just glad you're OK, that you didn't get hurt," said Tiwanak.
"Me too," said Ray.
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