BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – A ranking police officer in the province said that there is an organized group of shoplifters, usually from here and the neighboring cities of Talisay and Silay who have been involved in a string of shoplifting cases, usually in groceries and department stores in southern Negros Occidental since last year.
“I have noticed that since last year,” Captain Judesses Catalogo told DNX on the cases of shoplifting in some parts of the province since last year involving suspects who declare their addresses to be either from here and the two cities.
Catalogo, spokesman of Camp Gerona or the National Police Provincial Police Office, told DNX the addresses declared in the identification cards of these shoplifting suspects are either Bata village here or Mambulac in Silay City or Talisay.
The cases recorded by police stations since last year showed these criminals have been operating outside Bacolod, striking newly-opened stores, like the one in La Castellana town.
The case in that town involved Gina Perez, 54, reportedly from Bata village here who allegedly stole various items from the Puregold branch in Robles village worth more than P15,000 on 26 April 2023.
Store guard Rogemar Naviamos told police he was already suspicious of Perez when he saw her enter the grocery. He added the suspect paid for only two items but did not pay for the others.
Among the items Perez allegedly took were 25 packs of Off!, an anti-bug lotion, 17 toothbrushes worth more than P4,000, and foodstuff.
Catalogo said these shoplifters, who appear to be experienced criminals and “professionals” at what they do, usually operate outside the city since they have already been identified for shoplifting in department stores and groceries here.
Catalogo added the practice of some department stores to post photos of suspected shoplifters and adapting pro-active security measures against these criminals have also discouraged them from operating in Bacolod.