AWOL policeman nabbed on car theft charges
MANILA, Philippines — A policeman who was Awol (absent without official leave) for five years has been arrested in Quezon City on car theft charges, along with three other suspects.
Pat. John Rey Bautista, 37, had been assigned at the Southern Police District before he was transferred to the Regional Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit at Camp Bagong Diwa on June 18, 2015, after he went Awol.
He was arrested on Sunday by the Quezon City Police District along with Albert Hipolito, 46; Christopher Orosco, 39; and Roderick Sarang, 43.
The road to his capture began at a rental car shop in Cavite province where Joanna Mae Turingan rented a red Mitsubishi Montero and a blue Mitsubishi Mirage for P22,000 on Sept. 12.
Turingan promised the shop owner, a retired US Army veteran, Tommy Ruperto, that she would return the vehicles by Sept. 15, the Masambong police station reported.
But on Sept. 15, Ruperto learned that the global positioning system (GPS) tracking device on the two vehicles had been switched off.
Using a backup GPS, he pinpointed the cars’ location somewhere on Visayas Avenue, Quezon City. He promptly reported the incident to the police.
Operatives from the Masambong station were dispatched at 8 p.m. on Sunday to the corner of Scout Gandia and Tomas Morato Streets, where Bautista, Hipolito and Orosco were found with the Montero.
Sarang was also arrested in the same area onboard a Toyota Avanza, which the police concluded had also been stolen. The Mirage, however, has yet to be recovered, along with Turingan.
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