Police probes 3 separate car theft cases

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

AFTER more than a month of hiatus, the notorious Bukas Kotse gang struck again the past two days and victimized a lawyer, a journalist and two businessmen.

In less than 24 hours, the car thieves hauled a total of P640,000 cash, P100,000 worth of gift checks and undetermined amount of laptops and personal items.

The first car theft happened around 10pm Monday evening in front of a restaurant owned by the family of Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas.

Atty. Joviel Edama, newshen Florence Hibionada, broadcaster Jun Capulot and Nereo Lujan and Mercedes Tabano were having dinner at Carlos Bakeshop in Brgy. Dungon A, Jaro, right beside the house of Treñas.

Edama parked his silver Isuzu APV in front of the restaurant and left their personal items in the van.

When the group returned to the parking area, Edama discovered that the right glass window of the van was already broken.

The suspects carted away two laptops owned by Edama and Hibionada and two bags with more or less P5,000 cash inside.

According initial police investigation, the lone security guard saw two men lurking in the parking area minutes before the theft was discovered.

The guard said one of the men even asked him to buy bottled water inside the restaurant. But the men disappeared when the guard returned with the bottled water. Apparently, the men diverted the guard’s attention from the parking.

Waiters inside the restaurant said they saw another man making a call in his cellphone. But the man quickly went out of the restaurant along with two persons who boarded an unidentified vehicle.

Hibionada told Aksyon Radyo-Iloilo that she also noticed the man on the cellphone but she did not suspect as she was busy with their discussion aside from being tired.

The bags containing documents and computer software installers were recovered behind a grocery store in Brgy. Tabuc Suba, Jaro around 11pm.

The second incident happened 10am Tuesday at Burgos Street, Iloilo City Proper near the Social Security System (SSS)-Iloilo office.

Wilfredo Lim, 61, of Alta Tierra Village, Jaro parked his gray Isuzu Crosswind near SSS.

When Lim returned, his car’s glass window was already smashed. The suspects carted away P100,000 worth of gift checks and P25,000 cash.

Witnesses said they saw a car with three persons parked beside Lim’s vehicle before the theft was discovered.

The person driving the car asked help from bystanders to push the car because its engine stalled.

The Iloilo City Proper police station said the car may have served as distraction or cover while one of the suspects smashed Lim’s vehicle.

At around 2pm Tuesday, businessman Margarito Parcon of Brgy. Rumbang, Pototan discovered that the left glass window of his Nissan Frontier Navarra was already smashed to bits.

Parcon parked his vehicle outside SM Savemore in Brgy. Quintin, Salas, Jaro to buy some items inside the store.

When he returned 10 minutes later, Parcon discovered that his clutch bag containing P610,000 cash and a caliber .45 pistol with three magazines was already gone.

Chief Supt. Isagani Cuevas, Police Regional Office (PRO-6) director, ordered the Iloilo City Police Office to beef up its efforts in neutralizing the Bukas Kotse gang.

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