GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/04 November) — Police operatives recovered early Tuesday 14 alleged stolen motorcycles and disassembled or “chop-chop” vehicles and parts in a raid in Esperanza town in Sultan Kudarat.
Supt. Jemuel Siason, intelligence group head of the Sultan Kudarat Provincial Police Office (SKPPO), said they recovered the motorcycles and other items in a compound in Sitio Kutok, Barangay Ilian in Esperanza that reportedly served as storage area and hideout of car thieves operating in the area.
He said they launched the raid at around 3 a.m. Tuesday after confirming a tip from a local informant.
“We received a tip that the compound was used as a base of a carnapping syndicate,” the official said in a radio interview.
The operation was joined by elements from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Regional Police Public Safety Battalion, Provincial Police Public Safety Company, Highway Patrol Group and the SKPPO.
Siason said they failed to arrest or capture any of the suspects, who reportedly escaped from the area prior to the raid.
“But we already have the identities of some of them and they will be the subject of our follow-up operations,” he said.
Siason said they are currently checking the real owners of the recovered motorcycles, which have no proper documents and license plates.
He said they are also verifying whether the disassembled vehicles and parts came from stolen units.
The police official said they launched the operation in response to the killing of a police officer by suspected car thieves at a portion of Barangay Laguinding in Esperanza on Sunday night.
Two motorcycle-riding suspects gunned down Senior Police Officer 4 Ruben Hilario Sabado while he was on his way home aboard a motorcycle at about 7 p.m.
The suspects took the service firearm and motorcycle of Sabado, who was assigned at the operations unit of the SKPPO.
Siason said they were still checking whether the victim’s Honda XR 200 was among those recovered during the raid.
Senior Supt. Rex dela Rosa, Sultan Kudarat police director, earlier said they are initially eyeing car theft as the motive of the killing but noted that they don’t discount the possibility that it could also be work-related. (MindaNews)