Fiscal Castro to police: Return car or face charges
Cebu City Prosecutor Mary Ann Castro threatened to file a carnapping case against the PNP Regional Highway Patrol Unit 7 (RHPU 7) if they don’t return the stolen Ford Ranger Wildtrak pick-up under their custody by today.
Castro and her estranged husband Leodegreco Sanchez are the registered owners of the vehicle.
Castro sent a demand letter dated January 4 to the highway patrol unit, asking them to turn over the pick-up truck within three days or she would charge them for carnapping before the Office of the Ombudsman Military.
PO2 Justin Paul Sarsaba, RHPU-7 investigator, however, said the vehicle would remain in their custody since it is still the subject of an investigation stemming from complaints that the pickup was stolen.
Separate carnapping complaints for the vehicle were filed by Castro and Sanchez in October after the couple had a falling out.
Each accused the other of taking the brand-new vehicle, whose installment payments are being made by Castro through a bank loan in her name.
“A continuing investigation will be conducted by this office to determine those responsible in the reported loss of the vehicle and the apparent intention to conceal its identity,” Sarsaba said.
The vehicle was found last Dec. 21, 2015 parked along a street in barangay Kamputhaw. The original black body was repainted white.
The vehicle was later impounded by HPU 7 for macro-etching examination to determine its ownership. Examation by the Crime Laboratory Office 7 showed that it wasthe same black Ford Ranger.
Prosecutor Castro, however, is determined to recover the vehicle.
She said that she received a letter last December 23 regarding the recovery of the vehicle.
“I will hold you and your office responsible for any adulteration committed against the subject vehicle,” read the letter.
Castro said that RHPU 7 did not inform her or her husband about the recovery of the vehicle nor ask their permission to take custody of it.
Castro said the RHPU 7 does not have a legal ground to impound the vehicle.
Castro filed her carnapping complaint on Oct. 14, 2015 while her hsuband Sanchez filed his complaint on Oct. 26.
On Dec. 21, 2015, the highway patrol group towed away and imppounded the Ford Ranger left parked along East Capitol Road, barangay Kamputhaw.
The vehicle was said to be the same reported missing Ford Ranger that was turned over to BPI Family Bank after its recovery by Prosecutor Castro, the spot report said.
But BPI Family Bank manager Elmer Ocaba denied receiving the vehicle from Castro and declined to receive the highway patrol unit’s official request for macro-etching.
With this, , the RHPU 7 towed the vehicle and impounded it in their compound in barangay Lahug, Cebu City.
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