Amid the large crowds in malls, churches, and parties here as part of the Sinulog festivities, the police are advising the public to be more vigilant against thieves or pickpockets.
Insp. Samson Go, deputy station commander of the Mabolo Police Precinct, made this call after six people, who are based in Manila, were arrested on Friday for allegedly stealing the wallet of a local businessman containing P30,000 cash at a mall at the north reclamation area in Cebu City.
Aside from that the police also rescued two minor teenagers, who were allegedly companions of these six suspects.
Go said that a businessman’s citizen’s arrest of a woman, whom he suspected to be one of the people who picked his pocket while he was checking on the T-shirts displayed at a mall, started the police operation leading to the arrest of the five other suspects.
Go said that investigation showed that Glenn Borinaga, 45, a local businessman from Barangay Guadalupe, brought Joy Rose Ababao, 24, who is a Bacolod, Negros Occidental native but is based in Marikina City, to the Mabolo Police Precinct minutes after Borinaga found out about his stolen wallet.
Borinaga claimed that Ababao was one of the people who stole his wallet as he remembered her as one of those who distracted him while he was choosing clothes displayed outside a mall.
When he found out about his loss, he searched the area and found Ababao, whom he suspected as one of the pickpockets, and made a citizen’s arrest.
Ababao at first denied the allegations against her and so Borinaga brought her to the police station.
She was interrogated by police, later admitted her role in the theft, and told police about her other colleagues.
With Ababao’s information, Mabolo police then raided a pension house in another part of the city where Ababao’s alleged partners were staying, and arrested them, said Go.
Those arrested were Ansary Mamailo, 45, a Marawi City native but based in Quezon City; Aries Cabug, 39, of Quezon City; Saidamen Unte, 34, of Quezon City, and Ailyn Biaco, 29, of Marikina City.
Go said they also found two minors, who were staying with the group, during the raid.
Go said that the boys, whose ages are 15 and 17 years old were turned over to the Operation Second Chance, a facility in Barangay Kalunasan for children in conflict with the law.
Aside from the arrests, Go said they also recovered in the pension house Borinaga’s wallet and most of the P30,000 cash.
Go said they also confiscated from the suspects six medium packs and 15 sachets of suspected shabu with an estimated street value of P421,260.
Go, however, said that the suspects would allegedly use the drugs before going on their stealing operations.
The Mabolo police official also said with the arrests, Go believed that they thwarted an attempt by the group to also victimize those people, who would attend a party event in Mandaue City, after they found during the raid tickets of a party event in Mandaue City.
Aside from that Go also said they found a boat ticket of their arrival in Cebu from Manila dated January 13.
With the arrests, Go again advised the public to be more vigilant especially with the crowds during the Sinulog festivities.
He also advised the public not to wear expensive jewelry and not to bring a large amount of cash when going shopping or in attending events for the Sinulog.
Meanwhile, the six arrested suspects were detained at the Mabolo Police Precinct pending the filing of charges.