The alleged members of an organized crime group suspected of stealing several items from business establishments nationwide admitted that they had stolen about P1 million worth of merchandises from the malls in Bacolod City in October last year, Supt. Santiago Rapiz, City Police Special Operations Group head, said yesterday.
Rapiz said the leader of the group, Mercy Derla, 39, of Caloocan City, was released from detention Wednesday after she posted bail of P24,000 for the theft charges filed against her.
He said Derla’s companions Antonio, De Luna, 20, Jhon Paul Palma, 24, Justine Pascual, 23, Jeffrey Longasa, 25, and Joana Torres, 24, all of Caloocan City, and Diana Rose Blanza, 18, of Pasig City are still processing their bail, also of P24,000 each.
The Bacolod Police has released the pictures of the suspects to other police units in the country so they can post them at business establishments there to warn them against the activities of Derla’s group.
Rapiz said they are not discounting the possibility that the suspects are using fictitious names, so the Bacolod City police is continuously coordinating with the National Bureau of Investigation to check their backgrounds.
Aside from Derla’s group, BCPO is also conducting surveillance on another group who are also into shoplifting, Rapiz also said.
Six of the suspects were arrested at a pension house at Mabini Street Monday after the management reported their suspicious activities to the police, while De Luna was arrested Sunday at the Gaisano City mall where he allegedly stole the same items from the department store.
City Police Director Senior Supt. Ricardo de la Paz with meet with the management and security officers of the malls in Bacolod to brief them on the modus operandi of this group so they will not be victimized.*APN