By Jay Mangogtong
The Bacolod City Police Office has filed theft charges against seven suspected members of an organized crime group involved in big time shoplifting activities victimizing the different malls in Bacolod City.
According to BCPO Director, Senior Supt. Ricardo Dela Paz, the theft cases were filed on the basis of the stolen items recovered from the suspects and the voluntary admission of some of them.
The seven “big time thieves” were arrested last Monday, June 18 2012, when the police responded to a call from the management of a pension house that asked for assistance on suspicion that their clients are into something illegal.
Dela Paz identified the suspects as Mercy Derla, 39 years old and the alleged ring leader; John Palma, 24; Justine Almario Pascual, 23; Jeffrey Alvarado Longasa, 25; Joana Pilapil Torres, 24, all residents of Bagong Bario, Caloocan City and Diana Rose Sumalnap, 18, of Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City.
Dela Paz said the group arrived in Bacolod last June 15, 2012 via Cebu Pacific Airlines and stayed at Monique Pension House and in an adjacent Rainbow Pension House, both located along Mabini Street.
He revealed that in a span of three days the group was able to loot two big boxes of expensive dry goods and electronic items with a total estimated value of P80,000.
Dela Paz said the group’s modus operandi includes buying a big but cheap item from the department store and after securing a big bag for the item they bought, they roam around the mall and do their hideous acts.
The police director added that the suspected thieves are so elusive that they can steal the targeted item unnoticed even with the presence of a store attendant or a close circuit television.
Dela Paz said they recommended the bail of P24, 000 each for the suspects’ temporary liberty as he noted that more cases will be filed by the management of the different malls.
Aside from the representatives of the Gaisano City Mall and SM City Bacolod, the personnel sent by Robinson’s Place Bacolod to the BCPO were able to identify some of the stolen items which were recovered from the suspects./WDJ