Caregiver arrested for allegedly stealing employer's debit cards

Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 09 2018 10:13 PM

A 35-year-old male caregiver was arrested Friday for allegedly stealing the debit cards of his bedridden employer and using them to purchase airline tickets for his trips abroad.

Jorest Irk Delambaca was nabbed by the PNP Anti Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) and Avsegroup upon his arrival in Manila on board Cebu Pacific flight 5J 930 from Bangkok, Thailand.

The 69-year-old victim reported to authorities that his debit cards had been stolen and used by Delambaca.

In his complaint affidavit, the victim narrated that Delambaca was hired by the family to take care of him but instead, he did the opposite.

"For almost a year, respondent Delambaca ate, rested and slept in our family home alongside other family members," the affidavit stated.

The victim said it was really hard for the family "since it cannot be denied that we both reposed a high degree of trust and confidence in Delambaca so much that he could stay in our bedroom alone. He could even clean our bedroom while we were not inside the room."

On February 23, 2018, Delambaca suddenly went missing. 

"We became worried and tried to contact him through his mobile number, but his phone could not be reached," the victim said in his affidavit.

Three days later, the victim got a call from his bank and was shocked to learn that several withdrawals and transactions were made against his payroll and pension credit cards.

The card was used several times to purchase appliance, clothes, online tickets and hotel reservations abroad.

"In total, Delambaca was able to take the amount of Php293, 380.52," the affidavit read.

Senior Insp. Reynaldo Salim, chief of ACG-Cyber Financial Crime section, said investigators pulled receipts from merchants as proof of Delambaca's purchases using the victim's debit cards. Merchants included retail stores and online transactions.

"Na-link up natin siya dahil nag-purchase sya sa isang boutique na kung saan yung debit card ng victim ginamit niya. At the same time nag-appear sa reprinted na resibo, ginamit niya yung SM Advantage card niya. Maliban doon yung booking niya sa sa airplane, ang pangalan ng passenger ay pangalan ng suspect," Salim said.

Delambaca was able to purchase his plane ticket and hotel overnight stays from the debit cards for his recent travels to Malaysia, Cambodia, and Vietnam, police said. His recent trip was in Thailand.

He also allegedly bought plane tickets and made online hotel reservations for vacation in the Maldives and Singapore.

Delambaca even shared photos of his trips abroad via his Facebook and Instagram accounts and gained likes from his friends. 

Delambaca refused to give comments and said: "Ang PAO lawyer na lang po na kukunin ko."

He was initially charged with at least 44 counts of the crime of qualified theft.

Additional charges of at least 42 counts of access device fraud in violation of Republic Act 8484 or the Access Device Regulation Act of 1998 will be filed against Delambaca.