A farmer, whom police suspect is a member of an organized theft group operating in Bacolod City, was arrested by the Special Operations Group in Brgy. 27, Bacolod, at about 8 p.m. Thursday, its deputy chief, Senior Insp. Ruel Culanag, said yesterday.
Culanag identified the suspect as Jessie Pabuaya, 48, of Sitio Sampinit, Escalante City in Negros Occidental. He said they swooped down on the rented house of the suspect on information that he is in possession of stolen items.
Culanag said they recovered from a tricycle near the rented house several beauty products and toys, all worth about P21,000. He said they will check with stores in the city to determine if they had lost similar items.
Culanag said Pabuaya identified his companions as a certain Jeffrey of Toboso, and “Jojet”, “Inday” and “Tasya” of Iloilo City.
He said the modus of the group, that has about 15 members, is to shoplift items from department stores and give them to someone waiting outside. They attack at noon to 1 p.m., which is lunchtime for most store personnel.
Culanag said the suspects come to Bacolod during festivals to steal since store personnel are usually busy then.
Pabuaya said he did not steal the items, he only received them from the shoplifters.
Culanag appealed to business establishments to be more vigilant, especially with the expected influx of people for the MassKara Festival.
Meanwhile, Ermigilda de la Cruz, 59, of Brgy. Singcang-Airport in Bacolod was charged before the City Prosecutor's Office yesterday for selling fake money in violation of Presidential Decree 168, and Republic Act 9165, Senior Insp. Charles Gever, Station 8 chief, said.
He said de la Cruz was arrested in an entrapment operation in front of the Twin Shell Gasoline Station at Magsaysay Avenue at about 6 p.m. Thursday, and recovered from her were three P500 bills, a P1,000 bill, and several illegal drugs paraphernalia.*SGG