Motorcycle thief killed in shootout with police in Buenavista, Bohol
CEBU CITY, Philippines – A suspected motorcycle thief died in an armed confrontation with the police inside an elementary school in Buenavista town in Bohol province on Thursday morning, November 23, 2023, after he allegedly stole a policeman’s motorcycle.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Gerard Ace Pelare, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office Central Visayas (PRO-7), said that suspect Richard Villanueva went inside one the classrooms in the public elementary school there to take cover as the responding policemen tried to negotiate for his surrender.
But after talks that lasted for an hour, Villanueva opted to fire shots at the police which prompted them to retaliate and wound him.
According to Pelare, Villanueva was already dead when brought to the Rural Health Unit in Buenavista town.
Police in Buenavista town said in a report that they received a phone call regarding a motorcycle theft at around 9:30 a.m. on Thursday.
According to the police report, Villanueva, a fishpond caretaker and native of Negros, allegedly stole a motorcycle that was owned by a police officer who holds the rank of a patrolman and is assigned at the Ubay Municipal Police Station.
Following the receipt of the information, Buenavista police immediately proceeded to Baragay Lusong to verify the information.
In a press conference, Pelare said that the motorcycle was parked outside of the patrolman’s home in Talibon town which is located about 25 kilometers away from Buenavista.
Villanueva resides in Barangay San Jose in Getafe town, which is located next to Talibon or about 11 kilometers away.
As of this writing, it remains unclear what Villanueva was doing in Buenavista town.
Pelare said that the patrolman walked on foot to look for his stolen motorcycle. He found his motorcycle parked along the road Barangay Lusong in Buenavista town.
He said that a scuffle happened, which caused the patrolman’s service firearm to fall on the ground.
Villanueva allegedly picked up the gun and fired twice at the patrolman but he missed.
The suspect then boarded the motorcycle and entered a nearby public elementary school to take cover.
Pelare said that Villanueva entered a classroom while classes was ongoing to hide.
When Buenavista police arrived, they tried to negotiate with Villanueva and asked him to surrender, but he responded by firing shots at the police.
Police fired back and wounded Villanueva on the different parts of his body. He was already dead when he was brought to the Buenavista Rural Health Unit. His cadaver is now at a funeral parlor in the same town.
During their investigation, Buenavista police learned that Villanueva was also blamed for motorcapping incidents that happened in another part of Bohol province on Wednesday, Nov. 22.
Police recovered from his possession the patrolman’s .9mm caliber pistol, a fired cartridge, and a live ammunition.
Meanwhile, Pelare thanked the people of Buenavista town for immediate calling the police station to report the scuffle that involved Villanueva.
Pelare said it helped the police to immediately locate and contain the suspect.
Moreover, he is urging policemen to be cautious when handling their service firearms.
“We are reminding them to observe the basics, especially in personnel safety. Not only during police operations but in your day-to-day routine. Kini lang nahitabo sa Bohol, it was just very unfortunate nga nahulog ivang pusil during the scuffle,” he said.
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