Four shoplifters were arrested after taking several books from the National Book Store (NBS) at Fishermall on Quezon Avenue corner Roosevelt Avenue in Barangay Sta. Cruz, Quezon City, and selling their loot on social media.
Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Director Senior Supt. Guillermo Eleazar identified the suspects through a report from Masambong Police Station-2 under Supt Igmedio Bernaldez as Aziel Patawaran alias Ruffy Villanca, 31, of 19-B, Mel Alcalde Street, Brgy. 117, Zone 9, Tondo, Manila; Ana Dulay, 56, of the same address; Rose Marie Martinez, 28, of 72-C, Quirino Street, Brgy. 116, Zone 9, Tondo, Manila, and Joseph Arce aka “Jojo”, 54, a janitor, residing at no. 1643, Imelda Street, Brgy. 108, Zone 9, Tondo, Manila.
Eleazar said that Villanca, Martinez and Dulay, entered NBS and posed as customers. They surreptitiously took books and put these inside a shoulder bag and casually left the store without paying for them. The suspects proceeded to the mall’s parking lot where Arce was waiting inside their getaway vehicle.
Unknown to them, a security guard spotted them and followed them to the parking lot. The guard immediately sought the help of police just outside the mall which resulted in the arrest of the suspects.
Seized from the suspects were 22 assorted books worth P37,000 and a Kia Rio with plate no. AAA 9913, that they used as getaway vehicle.
In a follow-up operation in Mandaluyong City and Manila, operatives also confiscated more than two hundred stolen books worth P85, 000 and several bank deposits slips as payment from customers who bought the stolen
items online at a very low price.
Police also arrested a certain Mila de Aroz in C.M Recto Avenue after she was tagged as among the suspects’ fencers. Seized from her were 200 assorted books with undetermined worth.
The four suspects were charged with theft (shoplifting) while de Aroz was slapped with violation of P.D. 16129 (Anti-fencing Law) at the City Prosecutors Office.
Eleazar commended the police and the alert security guards of the mall who quickly reported the incident that resulted in the arrest of the suspects and the recovery of the loot.