Cops seize stolen statues

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Sunday, July 6, 2014


STA. RITA, Pampanga – The police here were able to recover 12 pieces of religious statues and two alleged relics from a relative of Jeffrey Quintos, the prime suspect in the recent theft of two ivory images at the Saint James the Apostle Parish in Guagua town recently.

Operatives of the Santa Rita Police conducted a follow-up investigation at Barangay San Basilio here for the possible arrest of Quintos' cohorts.

A certain Loming Valencia of Barangay Balas of Bacolor town (adjacent to Barangay San Basilio) flagged down the patrol vehicle and informed the police team that Quintos left 12 pieces of statues, including the alleged relics of Saint John Paul II and Saint Clare at the house of his daughters’ sister-in-law.

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The police officers, together with the informant, proceeded to said place to verify the report.

On July 1, the Northern Caloocan police led by Police Superintendent Bernard Tambaoan turned over to the local police Quintos, 29, a resident of Barangay San Jose in Macabebe town, after the suspect was found in possession of the stolen Sto. Niño image.

The suspect was arrested along Bonifacio Monument Circle (Monumento) in Caloocan City in the act of selling the image.

The image, ivory head and two sets of detached hands and feet were turned over to the Guagua police. Serrano said the image was then returned to Rev. Fr. Ray dela Cruz, the parish priest of Santiago Apostol Parish for safekeeping.

Guagua town police chief Inspector Angelito Estaban told reporters that they were able to track down the location of the other missing image after interrogating the suspect.

The image was recovered from a remote area in Barangay San Basilio in Santa Rita, a town near Guagua. Police recovered the ivory head and a set of ivory hands.

The two images were stolen from their altar inside the Santiago Apostol Church last June 30. The church was declared a national cultural treasure in 2013.

The image of the Child Jesus was stolen during the Betis district's feast day last December 2013 but was returned to the church by a certain Tom Joven.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on July 07, 2014.

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