Bilibid guard tagged as bike theft gang chief in Muntinlupa


By Aie Balagtas See


MANILA, Philippines – A guard at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) was arrested by the Muntinlupa City police Friday for allegedly leading a gang of motorcycle thieves operating at the prison compound and neighboring areas, officials said yesterday.

Chief Supt. Benito Estipona, Southern Police District director, identified the suspect as Prison Guard 1 Paul Bernardo Lopez, 32, of the NBP’s minimum security compound.

Lopez was arrested by virtue of the warrant issued by Judge Antoniette Medina of the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 276. He was charged for violating Republic Act 6539 or the Anti-Carnapping Act of 1972.

Chief Inspector Giovanni Martinez, head of the Muntinlupa police intelligence unit, said Lopez and his alleged accomplices were accused of stealing six to eight motorcycles from June to July 2012.

These incidents took place from 10 p.m. onward at the NBP compound and neighboring Katarungan Village.

“They would steal the motorcycles from inside the houses’ garage or those parked outside,” added Martinez, who led the arresting team.

Witnesses and NBP insiders “tipped off the group,” said Martinez, prompting policemen to place them under their watch.

The group was eventually charged after one of the owners caught them stealing his motorcycle.

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