By Jennifer P. Rendon
A day after police in Iloilo province issued a warning against Basag-Kotse (car burglary) incidents, a similar modus operandi was reported in Iloilo City.
The incident was discovered around 11:30 p.m. on Jan. 25 at Dois Seafoods and Big Plates restaurant along Barangay Tabuc Suba, Jaro, Iloilo City.
According to Ron, 21, of Magallanes Street, Roxas City, Capiz, they learned of the incident shortly after they dined at the restaurant.
He said he immediately saw the broken right front passenger window of the parked BMW 116i hatchback.
The car is registered to Ron’s girlfriend.
A quick check revealed that the thief took away an iPhone 8 Plus mobile phone worth P7,000.
Major Eduardo Siacon, Jr., Iloilo City Police Station 3 chief, said they immediately conducted a follow-up investigation by checking the establishment’s CCTV camera recording.
It didn’t take long for investigators to identify the suspect through the police’s rogue’s gallery.
Siacon withheld the suspect’s name but claimed that he was a resident of Iloilo City.
On Jan. 24, the Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) warned the public, especially car owners, against unscrupulous individuals preying on valuables inside their vehicles.
Major Rolando Araño, IPPO spokesperson, said that they have already issued an advisory to police stations in the province to be on the lookout for basag-kotse suspects.
Araño’s warning came on the heels of a basag-kotse incident in Leganes town on Sunday, Jan. 21, victimizing four vehicles.
Captain John Robles, Leganes police chief, said they have identified a suspect behind the incident.
He didn’t publicly identify the suspect but it was a different one from the assailant in Iloilo City.
In Iloilo City, basag-kotse incidents started in 2009.
After victimizing several car owners, the suspects went on hiatus and returned in 2011.
Several incidents were also reported in 2012 and 2014.
Of several cases, only one group was arrested but they were able to post bail.