Suspected 'chop-chop' car thieves arrested

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 17 2012 02:39 AM | Updated as of Oct 17 2012 10:39 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Several suspects accused of stealing cars and selling their parts have been arrested by police in Hagonoy, Bulacan.

The arrests were made by police after they received a tip that stolen vehicles are being brought to a car repair shop in Hagonoy and are taken apart.

The vehicle of Lourdes Cruz, which was stolen in front of her home last Monday, was recovered in the repair shop.

However, some of the car parts have already been removed.

“Aasahan mo ba na ‘pag bukas mo ng pintuan, mawawalan ka na. Samantalang sa gabi ka dapat mananakawan dahil tulog ang mga tao. Latang-lata ako sa sama ng loob, eh wala na akong ipapang-deliver eh,” Cruz said.

Police said the suspects can disassemble a vehicle and sell its parts within 24 hours after it has been stolen.

“Lahat ng pwedeng mapapakinabangan nila ay kukunin nila. Ang aming tina-trabaho ay demand para mawala ang supply,” said Insp. Ferdinand Germino of the Bulacan Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group.

The suspects, however, said they did not know that the vehicle was stolen, and they were only tasked to remove its parts.

“Pinabaklas muna tapos dumating siya kinabukasan, may dala na siyang tricycle,” said Rolando Viray, one of the suspects.

Police warn the public that car thieves no longer target just high-end vehicles. They also urge motorists not to patronize car shops that may be selling stolen parts. -- Report from Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News