LEGAZPI CITY, April 15 (PNA) – The Philippine National Police has finally scored against the rampant carnapping of motorcycles in Bicol following the arrest on Sunday of two suspects, one of them a former Legazpi barangay councilor, in possession of spare parts from various motorcycles without supporting papers.
A police report released Tuesday said Dindo A. Fuentes of Binanuahan, Legazpi City, was arrested at about 8:20 p.m Sunday in nearby Daraga town while about to flee with a stolen motorcycle.
Police found Fuentes in possession of 16 keys for various motorcycles.
During interrogation, he implicated one Janlen L. Azuran, a former barangay councilor of Barangay 23 (Imperial Court) in this city.
An operation in coordination with the Legazpi City Police Office (LCPO) led to the arrest of Azuran at about 8:45 p.m. Sunday at his residence in Barangay 23 here where he operates a junk shop.
Police found in his possession various motorcycle spare parts minus engines, said Supt. Joel Adan, newly appointed police chief of Daraga town.
Adan said a police intelligence report said a big-time trader is believed to be behind the rampant carnapping of motorcyles who sells the engines to fishermen for fishing boats used in Bicol island provinces.
Legazpi City is the alleged dumping ground of carnapped motorcycles that are reportedly chop-chopped.
A police report said Azuran has been presented for inquest at the Legazpi City Prosecutor’s Office for violation of the anti-fencing law. Azurn and Fuentes were charged with carnapping at the Daraga Prosecutor’s Office on Monday.
Earlier, the local police recovered a motorcycle which was reported stolen from its owner about four months ago.
The vehicle was intercepted by joint elements of the LCPO led by Senior Insp. Jan King Calipay and the Bicol police’s Regional Special Operations Group led by Senior Insp. Steve Dela Rosa at a checkpoint in Barangay Baybay here.
Upon verification, the motorcycle, colored black and bearing license plate number EI 2314, was the same vehicle originally colored yellow and white which was reported by its owner Tiffany Celis stolen from her garage in Barangay Our Lady’s Village here on Dec. 22 last year.
Its driver identified in the report as Randy Ortisio, 21, who claimed that the motorcycle was sold to him by somebody, was apprehended and charged with violation of Presidential Decree 1612 or the Anti-Fencing Law.
The court has recommended a bail of P30,000 for the temporary liberty of Ortisio who, as of this report, remains in the custody of the LCPO pending issuance of a jail commitment order from the same court, the report added
Radio broadcast accounts quoted LCPO reports that a total of 37 motorcycles have been carnapped in Legazpi alone from January to April 13 this year.
Statistics showed 19 carnapping incidents happened last March in Legazpi alone.
Latest incidents showed three carnappings happened on April 4 alone in this city in less than 24 hours, making some residents brand Legazpi as the carnapping capital in the region.
“It’s only seconds and your motorcycle is gone in Legazpi,” said a text message sent to radio station D’Wow-fm radio station here on Monday.
Mayor Noel Rosal said 30 percent of carnapped motorcycles in Legazpi City took place inside the Gaisano Mall within the city center of commerce.
According to Rosal, Gaisano Mall, which is the largest mall in Legazpi, lacks security personnel, “that is why carnap syndicate could easily penetrate its premises and flee with the stolen unit without so much hussle.”
He said he had already called the attention of the Gaisano management to address the security problem.
Previous police report showed a total of 251 carnapped motorcycles in Bicol region for the year 2013, with Albay having the highest incidents and Legazpi topping the list.(PNA) CTB/FGS/MU/cbd/