3 cops in hot water for taking SUVBy Julie M. Aurelio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines – Three policemen are in trouble for taking a parked sports utility vehicle and returning it to its owner only after nine days.
Charged with car theft and falsification at the Quezon City prosecutor’s office are Police Officer 3 Fernando dela Cruz, PO3 Roberto Tripon and PO1 Sherwin Reyes – all of the La Loma police station.
The Quezon City Police District filed the case on Friday, days after the owner of the Toyota Rav-4 came to the police station to reclaim the vehicle only to find out that the SUV was not there.
The vehicle’s owner, Bessie Ang, 54, got her SUV back only on August 30, or nine days after it went “missing.”
In a referral letter, Chief Inspector Rodelio Marcelo of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit said the vehicle was left for still unknown reasons on Bulusan Street in Barangay (village) San Isidro Labrador by Ang’s son Hershey on August 20.
A concerned resident noticed it unattended a day later and reported it to the La Loma police station, which dispatched the trio to the scene.
Dela Cruz et al were seen in the neighborhood inside the Rav-4 with license plate UNF 553, presumably taking it for safekeeping.
But when Ang went to the police station, officers there could not find the vehicle nor any record to show that the SUV had been brought to the station.
The complainant noted, however, an entry in the logbook had a plate number altered from UNF 553 to UVN 558. Ang then checked the dubious plate number, which turned to be that of a delivery truck.
The SUV was eventually returned to her nine days later.
In their defense, the three policemen admitted they recovered the Rav-4 and claimed they parked it on a street adjacent to the police station. They admitted failure to report the recovery of the vehicle but claimed they acted in good faith.