A LADY employee of a pawnshop is facing charges before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Davao City for allegedly stealing over P900,000 worth of jewelry from her employer in 2013.
Facing qualified theft charges is Sonora Getutua, supervisor at the Matina branch of Cecile-Kristine's Pawnshop Corp.
Prosecutor Marte Melchor Velasco found probable cause to charge Getutua based on the complaint filed by the company president Cecile Calolot-Ungab and utility worker Mirasol Hingco.
The complainants, in their joint-affidavit, stated that they had learned about the incident when the respondent informed Ungab on January 21, 2013 that some pawned jewelry items from the vault of the pawnshop were missing and were replaced by fake items.
Based on the pawnshop's computer files, the fake items were pawned by a certain Amparo Martinez who happened to be the elder sister of Hingco.
The respondent accused Hingco of conspiring with her elder sister in stealing the jewelry items from the vault and replaced it with the items pawned by Martinez.
Hingco denied the allegations claiming that she had no access to the vault and she only had limited access to the encoding area.
But Ungab sanctioned Hingco with a preventive suspension to pave the way for an investigation.
On January 24 of the same year, the company conducted an inventory check and found out that a total of P923,700 worth of jewelry items were already missing from the vault. Other than the jewelry, Ungab also found out that P1,202,400 worth of pawn papers were also gone.
Ungab then reported the incident to Talomo police station.
Ungab also doubted some transactions encoded in the pawnshop's computer were fictitious as appraised value of pawned items suddenly soared.
The complainants said the amount of transactions on December 29, 2012 was pegged at P300,000, but this suddenly rose to P900,000 on December 31, 2012.
The company president noted that for the 15 years that the company has been operating they average only P50,000 to P80,000 worth of daily sales.
Hingco added that there was one instance when she left the office to pay the electric bills and left Getutua alone yet just in a span of two hours, the latter allegedly granted P100,000 in exchange for pawned items.
The suspicion on Getutua grew since after all, she was also the only person who has access to the vault and the authority to appraise and encode pawned items and receive payments. The complainants added that despite her P10,000 salary, she still managed to buy expensive gadgets and appliances.
Ungab also accused Getutua of appraising staggering amounts of fake items so that she could cover up the loss of the expensive jewelry.
Getutua filed a motion for reconsideration accusing Hingco that she also has access to the vault and the computer and she could have done the crime on the days that she was absent.
Velasco, in his resolution, denied the motion of reconsideration on the grounds that Getutua's contentions were based on presumptions while the complainants have the evidence.
The case is currently at the RTC Office of the Clerk of Court and is set to be raffled off to a court branch on Thursday. (RSA)