A 17-year-old boy linked to numerous theft cases in Tagbilaran City was arrested Thursday by police in continued efforts to track down noted burglars and pickpockets through “Oplan Galugad.”
The suspect identified only as “Balot” was collared by police operatives of the Tagbilaran City Police Office (TCPO) at Pacomios Compound, Purok 7 in Barangay Cogon.
According to police, Balot will be facing multiple theft charges after several of his victims have stepped forward and also reclaimed items stolen from them.
Balot who is also listed in the TCPO’s drug watch list will also be charged for possession of illegal drugs as he was allegedly caught with three sachets of shabu during the arrest.
Among the items allegedly stolen by the suspect and recovered by authorities were gold jewelry of one Nefjoy Cainglet and an electric guitar worth P15,000 owned by Manuel Cagasan, 67.
The pieces of jewelry including a gold pendant, necklace and ring worth a total of P35,000 were reportedly traced by authorities to a house in Lindaville Subdivision.
These were found during a hot pursuit of the TCPO inside the home of Jun Tajanlangit who is believed to have bought the jewelry from Balot, authorities said.
According to Sr. Insp. Erano Regidor, Cainglet is intending to file charges against Balot.
Although Balot is a minor, complaints can be filed against the suspect who has already been arrested several times before for theft, said theTCPO’s Women and Children’s Protection Desk.
Police also noted that Balot is classified as a child in conflict with the law.
For his part, TCPO chief Supt. Patricio Degay Jr. said that the minor will first be turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Under the country’s Juvenile Justice Law, children accused of crimes are detained at social welfare centers run by the government and not in regular jails. Depending on the gravity of the offenses, minors tagged in crimes undergo a rehabilitation process. Youth offenders 15 years old and younger are exempt from criminal liability. Youth offenders older than 15 years but younger than 18 years may be exempt from criminal liability based on the determination of the minors’ capacity for discernment. (WM)