A 62-year-old instructor of a local university fell prey to a female pickpocket inside the City Square in Tagbilaran City, making her one of the latest victims in the rash of theft and burglary cases which have plagued the city for several months.
The still unidentified suspect was caught on closed-circuit television camera (CCTV) which was mounted inside the Uni City department store. She was seen using a cloth to cover her hand while she grabbed the victim’s wallet from her shoulder bag on Monday.
Victim Leonora Sabejon, an instructor for the Bohol Island State University Bilar Campus told police that she lost cash, bank and identification cards and a gold ring to the pickpocket.
According to Staff Sgt. Max Baculot, the series of pickpocket cases in department stores in the city may have been carried out by a single band of thieves, comprised of both men and women.
The group is likely from outside the province, said Baculot.
At the nearby Shoppers’ Mart in Tagbilaran City, 42-year-old Susana Batingal also lost belongings allegedly to a pickpocket on Tuesday.
According to Batingal, she noticed in hindsight that she was being followed by a man wearing a white tank top inside the department store.
However, she had already lost her wallet which she said was kept inside her shoulder bag and which contained P3,000 cash and identification cards.
It was later found out by authorities that there are no CCTV cameras mounted inside the department store.
The Tagbilaran City Police Station (TCPS) earlier attributed the spate of pick-pocket cases and household break-ins to the dwindling drug supply in the city and continued release of drug offenders from prison through plea bargaining agreements.
“Usa na sa gi tan-aw nato kay kasagaran na namonitor nato na nag apply og plea bargaining ang uban namalik [drugs], ag uban pud hing shift og kawat ug panguot. Mao na usa gi tan-aw nato sa mga insidente karon na nahitabo,” said Senior Master Sergeant Celso Orapa, chief of operations for the TCPS, in an earlier interview.
According to Orapa, drug offenders who have recently been released from prison are likely to have a hard time sourcing illegal drugs, particularly shabu, due to low supply.
“Kadtong ubang nanggawas unya naglisod nag kuha og supply, di na maka drugs mao na lain ilang modus operandi,” he said.
TCPS chief Lt. Col. Christopher Navida earlier said that shabu supply in Tagbilaran City plummeted due to their intensified anti-drug campaign. (WM)