Disguised men rob store of drones, cellphones

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SALT LAKE CITY — One of two men suspected of stealing drones while posing as electric company employees now faces criminal charges.

Manu Sonasi Faleola, 35, of Tooele, who goes by the nickname "Animal," was charged Wednesday in 3rd District Court with two counts of aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony.

On March 6, two men dressed as Rocky Mountain Power employees walked into Digital Toyz, 1780 S. Redwood Road, and initially said they needed to "check the power box," according to court records.

The men had been outside pretending to work on a power box when they knocked on the store door just after 8 a.m. asking to come in, according to a Salt Lake police report.

Once inside, one of the men pulled out a handgun and told an employee, "I'll shoot you," according to charging documents. The men allegedly took $110 cash from the employee before locking her in the bathroom and threatening to kill her if she tried to escape. They then took about $1,000 from the cash register, eight drone helicopters and two cellphones, police said.

In an unrelated case, Faleola was charged March 13 with two counts of robbery, a first-degree felony, for allegedly stealing several items out of a home, including a 60-inch TV, a laptop, jewelry and cellphones. In 2012 he was convicted of felony drug possession and sentenced to the Salt Lake County Jail, according to court records. In 2004 Faleola was convicted of felony forgery and received probation.

The search for the second suspect in the drone robbery continued Thursday. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 801-799-3000.

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Pat Reavy


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