Nine ‘thieves’ from Luzon fall
Ma. Fatima R. Secuya/RHM (The Philippine Star) - January 19, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Nine men and women believed to belong to a syndicate of pickpockets from Luzon were arrested after one of them, who was caught after the Sinulog Grand Parade Sunday night, led authorities to their hideout.

The Cebu City Police Office identified them as Guillermo Diaz, 33; Arvin Jan Ballesteros, 22; Renz Boncalan, 26; Cindy Mercado; Carla Santos, 23; May Vilasco, 25; Adrian Lopez, 34; Cris Fernandez, 23; and Charizze Adriano, 24. Some of them were from Taguig City, while others were from Makati City and and Pasay City.

A certain George, whom the police said was leader and recruiter of members to their group, managed to elude arrest during the operation by Theft and Robbery Section operatives last Monday afternoon.

Senior Inspector Rolito Supatan, TRS chief, said it was Diaz who fell first after citizens collared him after victimizing a certain Kara Lim, who would have lost her iPhone 6, at Mango Square along General Maxilom Avenue at around 6 p.m. last Sunday.

Supatan said that during their investigation they learned from Diaz that his cohorts were staying in a pension house at the North Reclamation Area in Barangay Carreta.

Supatan said that when they made a follow-up operation, one of Diaz’s companions noticed them and immediately ran inside.

The police found inside the two rooms the nine rented several identification cards of different persons, ATM cards, and wallets.

Chief Inspector David Señor, CCPO-Police Community Relations chief, said the group prowled in crowded areas.

“Kita, pasalamat gyud ta kang Senior Santo Niño kay reportedly, kini nga grupo gikan pa ni sila sa pista sa Black Nazarene. In fact, naay mga identification cards ug gamit diha nga taga-Luzon ang tag-iya,” said Señor.

“Gikan na sila sa piyesta sa Nazareno unya nianhi sa Sinulog. So wa’y siguro, mangbiktima pud ni sila sa IEC (International Eucharistic Conference),” Supatan said.

The 51st International Eucharistic Congress, which would be attended by an estimated 15,000 delegates from numerous countries, will be held in Cebu starting this Sunday.

Señor warned the public, especially those joining the IEC, to just bring the things that they mostly need and avoid having with them expensive items.  — (FREEMAN)

ACIRC ADRIAN LOPEZ ARVIN JAN BALLESTEROS ATILDE BARANGAY CARRETA BLACK NAZARENE CARLA SANTOS CEBU CITY POLICE OFFICE CHARIZZE ADRIANO DIAZ SUPATAN
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