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MPD: Thieves rent cars, pawn them at casinos

Ramil Bajo, Rey Galupo (The Philippine Star) - March 31, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Car thieves have turned to renting vehicles and then pawning them to casino financiers, a Manila Police District (MPD) official said yesterday.

Senior Inspector Rosalino Ibay, who heads the MPD’s anti-car theft section, bared car thieves’ latest modus operandi after recovering a stolen Toyota Grandia at a hotel in Ermita, Manila last week.

Car owner Robert Ranchez – who owns a car rental firm in San Fernando, La Union – told police that Maryjane Tolentino rented the Grandia but failed to return it after 14 days. Police issued an alert for the vehicle.

Ibay said that on March 25, he received information that the stolen vehicle was spotted at the parking lot of a hotel along Kalaw street. He sent a team, led by Inspector Edward Samonte, and coordinated with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. personnel to recover the Grandia and possibly arrest the person who left it there.

He said car theft syndicates are resorting to borrowing cars from car rental firms using fake papers and then pawning the vehicles to casino financiers because it is easier than selling them.

Tolentino is wanted for similar cases in different parts of the country, Ibay added.

He also said they are checking if casino financiers who accept pawned vehicles are conspiring with car thieves.

CAR GRANDIA IBAY INSPECTOR EDWARD SAMONTE LA UNION MANILA POLICE DISTRICT MARYJANE TOLENTINO PHILIPPINE AMUSEMENT AND GAMING CORP ROBERT RANCHEZ SAN FERNANDO SENIOR INSPECTOR ROSALINO IBAY
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