MANILA Airport cops are still waiting for a passenger to file a formal complaint against a suspected thief, whom she said stole her bag at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) last week.
Airport police Senior Insp. Nemencio Bawalan told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Wednesday that the female passenger, Mery Ann Belano, had sought the help of airport police officers late November, and told them she was a victim of "salisi."
Literally meaning "opposing directions" or "missed out", salisi is a modus operandi where criminals distract their victim, making the commission of the crime unnoticed.
"(Belano) complained she had a Louis Vuitton bag containing PHP250,000 cash, five Chinese passports and IDs," Bawalan said.
Bound for Boracay, Belano was about to enter the Gate 6 departure area of NAIA Terminal 3, when the suspect took her bag, Bawalan narrated.
"According to Belano, an unidentified female, believed to be a cohort of the suspect, called her attention by tapping her shoulder. It was at that point when the suspect took her bag placed in a pushcart," he said.
Upon seeing the suspect casually walk away, Belano apparently shouted, "Snatcher, snatcher!"
This, Bawalan said, caught the attention of APO1 Geoffrey John Camaruan.
Camaruan immediately responded, according to Bawalan, and was able to arrest suspect Reynaldo Gamelde.
"Gamelde was about to board a red car, believed to be the getaway vehicle. APO1 Saeed Qassim Abdulkarim Lopez, who was also at the area at that time, tried to stop the car but failed," he said.
Gamelde, meanwhile, allegedly introduced himself to the arresting officers as Roger Casilan.
"During an investigation conducted by Police Intelligence and Investigation Division (PIID) of NAIA, the suspect admitted his real name. He also admitted that he had three cohorts the woman who tapped Belano's shoulder, and two men as lookout on board the red car," Bawalan said.
The inspector said Gamelde was initially charged with violations of Article 151 (Resisting Arrest) and Article 178 (Using Fictitious Name and Concealing True Name) of the Revised Penal Code.
A theft case will be filed as soon as Belano goes to the PIID office to formally lodge her complaint.
"She told us she would go to our office to file her complaint. We are still waiting for her. She has been back to Manila from Boracay since Dec. 1," Bawalan noted.
While waiting for Belano's formal complaint, Bawalan said the suspect is still detained at a PIID lockup. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency