DINO Ayuyu Mettao and Shaun Duenas Reyes were arrested by police after they tried to sell stolen excavator batteries to the owner.

According to the Department of Public Safety, on Oct. 21, 2021, at about 9:04 a.m., police received a call regarding a theft incident at Hidden Beach, Talofofo. The items stolen were four heavy equipment batteries for excavators.

When police arrived at United Equipment Rentals at around 9:40 p.m., they saw Reyes and Mettao who told them that they were there to sell batteries. Reyes and Mettao were then transported to Criminal Investigation Division office.

Mettao told detectives that on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, at around 8 p.m., he and another person picked up Reyes at Smile Poker in Chalan Laulau.

Mettao said they went to Hidden Beach, Talofofo between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. He said when they got there, they saw two excavators in the area.

Mettao said Reyes climbed the two excavators and took four batteries and placed them in the car.

He said they called some friends and asked them to sell the batteries, but their friends did not respond.

At about 7:30 a.m. on the following day, Mettao said Reyes picked him up and they went to a car rental company where they sold two batteries. Then they went to United Equipment Rentals to sell the other two batteries.

Mettao and Reyes were both charged with theft.

On Monday, Oct. 25, 2021, the two appeared before Superior Court Associate Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio who imposed a $1,000 cash bail on each of the defendants.

Both were provided with court-appointed counsels and remanded to the custody of the Department of Corrections.

Judge Kim-Tenorio ordered the two defendants to return to court on Nov. 3, 2021 at 10 a.m. for a preliminary hearing, and on Nov. 8, 2021 at 9 a.m. for their arraignment.


Bryan Manabat studied criminal justice at Northern Marianas College. He covers the community, tourism, business, police and court beats.

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