Village cases kick up crime

CEBU -- Crime records in Central Visayas Region went up from January to August this year, not because more crimes were committed, but because more crimes were recorded.

u201cMaybe some of the cases were reported both in the barangay hall and the police station, resulting in duplication,” said Senior Inspector Allan Cuizon, deputy for operations of the Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO).

In the entire Central Visayas, total crimes went up to 39,700 from January to August, compared to 14,205 in the same period last year.

One of the latest cases was the arrest of three minors after they allegedly stole money from a Korean on General Maxilom Avenue in Cebu City.

The police are also asking all units to monitor pickpockets from out of town, as the authorities expect petty crimes to rise as the holidays approach.

In Mandaue City, the number of crimes from January to August this year increased compared to the figures from the same months last year.

Barangays, too

Cuizon said the increase came about after petty crimes reported in the barangays were included in the police blotter.

From January to August, the MCPO received 3,318 cases, more than half of which were reported in the barangays and were mostly petty crimes like physical injuries.

Of the number, 1,632 were recorded in the police blotter.

Last year, the MCPO recorded only 1,160 crimes, which means this year’s tally is 41 percent higher.

Cuizon, in a press conference Saturday, said there might also be duplication in the new records.

From January to August, the MCPO arrested 126 persons in anti-illegal drug operations and filed 128 drug-related cases in court.

Meanwhile, Superintendent Pablo Labra II, acting chief of the Regional Intelligence Division (RID), said they received information that migrants have started arriving in Cebu now that the “ber” months are here.

Out of town

Labra said some of the people involved in theft incidents came from Ozamiz City, Cagayan de Oro, Davao City, and Metro Manila.

He said the police are coordinating with hotels and pension houses as these pickpockets usually stay as groups and often transfer to avoid being detected.

u201cKasagaran ana nila kay duha ra ka laki ang kuyog unya daghan ang babaye (Most of them have only two men in the group and more women),” the police official said.

Labra said theft incidents usually rise during the “ber” months, as they have observed in the past years. The police plan to field more operatives in areas where crowds meet, to deter crimes.

u201cAwhag lang sad namo nga magbantay atong mga katawhan sa ilang mga butang kung manglaag sila (We appeal to people to guard their belongings when they go out),” he said.

Labra said police stations should intensify police visibility especially in the areas of Fuente Osmeña, Gen. Maxilom Ave., I.T. Park, and Banilad.

Theft is top

From January to August 2013, a crime report from the Police Regional Office (PRO)-Central Visayas showed the number of crimes increased this year to 39,700 incidents.

At least 20,913 were reported as index crimes, which are those committed against persons and properties.

Theft remained the most common crime with 6,350 cases, followed by physical injuries with 5,594 cases and robbery with 2,694 cases.

On the incident involving minors on Gen. Maxilom Ave., the suspects—ages 13 and 14—were brought to the custody of Department of Social Welfare and Services of the Cebu City Government.

One of their accomplices, also believed to be a minor, ran away.

Chief Inspector Romeo Santander of Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) said the operation came after the police received reports of the prevalence of theft cases in the area located in front of a bank.

u201cKusog ang snatching and robbery diha nga apil ang mga bata (Snatching and robbery, sometimes involving children, are rampant there),” the police official said. He is the chief of City Intelligence Branch (CIB).

Undercover

A police team led by Senior Inspector Wayne Magbanua was patrolling the area clad in civilian clothes when the incident happened at 9:10 p.m.

The minors gathered around Hoon Choz, 26, who happened to passed by, to ask him for alms. They then took the P7,000 cash from Choz’s pocket.

Before the minors could run away, the police team arrived and picked them up. The police recovered P5,000 in cash from the minors’ possession.

The P2,000 cash was taken by the other minor who eluded arrest.

Santander, when interviewed by Sun.Star Cebu, said this is the modus operandi of the minors.

u201cMangayo sila ug limos pero nanguha na diay sa imong kwarta o mangukay sa bag (Some of them would ask for alms while one of their accomplices would steal cash or slip a hand into their victim’s bag),” he said.

During a tactical interview, the minors told police they were being looked after by adults, who ordered them to steal. These people are reportedly dispatchers of taxi and passenger jeepneys.

Equipment

Choz, who is studying English here, refused to file complaints against the minors after part of his money was recovered.

Santander said they are conducting follow-up operations.

In Mandaue City, modern traffic lights with closed-circuit televisions (CCTVs) were recently installed in the city’s nine major road intersections to help monitor the flow of the traffic as well as street crimes.

The CCTVs are monitored at the command center, located beside the City Hall.

Last December, the City Government turned over 20 motorcycles to the MCPO and the Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue (Team).

The motorcycles, donated by the Norkis Group of Companies, were intended to help the police and Team personnel respond more quickly to crimes and traffic incidents.

MCPO Chief Petronelli Baldebrin said the additional motorcycles would help strengthen police patrol activities.

Last month, the City Government launched the Bantay Mandaue 161 Command Center, which features an integrated communication system for the Team, the Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation, the Bureau of Fire Protection-Mandaue, and the Accident Control and Emergency Response Team.

Mayor Jonas Cortes said the police will soon be included in the communication system. (Sun.Star Cebu)

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