2 motorcycle thieves tricked by vehicle owner, nabbed by cops
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Misamis Oriental, Philippines — Carrying fake identification cards, including ones supposedly issued by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a man and a woman allegedly engaged in motorcycle thefts and extortion were arrested in an entrapment operation in Barangay Carmen, this city, Friday evening, police said.
Arrested were Junaid Macabuat, 33, and Naira Buat, 27, both residents of Pantar, Lanao del Norte.
Based on the ID cards taken from their person, Buat goes by the other name Nairah Laguindab, while Macabuat’s alias is Junaid Abas.
The suspects were believed to be responsible for some motorcycle thefts in the city.
Maj. Zean Paul Cubil, chief of Misamis Oriental Police Station 2 at Cogon Market, said Buat and Macabuat were arrested after a certain Hassim Dayongan lodged a complaint that his motorcycle was stolen on Nov. 10, 2019.
In the utility box of Dayongan’s motorcycle was a cellphone and a wallet containing his professional driver’s license, an ATM card, and official receipts issued by the Land Transportation Office.
Cubil advised Dayongan to contact his cellphone to check if the suspects still had it in their possession a few weeks after his motorcycle was stolen.
When communication was established, Dayongan pretended that he was someone who wants to pay back a debt of P30,000.
When the suspects got interested, the police further told Dayongan to lure them to a meeting. At first, the suspects were eager, then showed disinterest.
“We thought they had realized that they were about to fall into a trap. But a few days later, they wanted to have the meet-up,” the police chief said.
By this time, Dayongan struck a deal to supposedly pay P10,000 during their meet-up at a fastfood in Barangay Carmen, on the night of Dec. 6.
Cubil said the suspects looked like those seen in CCTV footage the police obtained in the area where Dayongan’s motorcycle was stolen.
The couple’s modus operandi was to select a motorcycle parked in a congested place. The woman, Buat, would be carrying bags as if coming from shopping and would sit on a motorcycle as if she and the male suspect, Macabuta, owned it. Macabuat would check if he could kick start the motorcycle.
Buat and Macabuat both denied committing the act, but Cubil said police had evidence to prove that they were engaged in motorcycle theft.
Cubil said the suspects would be charged for robbery with extortion and carnapping.
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