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Thieves hit visiting athletes

A theft suspect was arrested after he and his group allegedly stole cellular phones and a sling bag from sleeping Palarong Pambansa athletes inside their rooms at the public school in Barangay Calinan Proper, Calinan District Wednesday dawn.

Major Archimedes Wesley, the Calinan Police Station commander, identified the suspect as Ariel Robles Detomas, 24, single, and resident of Purok 23, Bagobo Village, Acacia, Calinan Proper.

Wesley said Detomas was arrested in a manhunt operation conducted by his operatives after closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage pointed to him as among those who were in the vicinity during the reported crime.

George Samatin, 49, an assistant boxing coach from Misamis Oriental, together with the victims, identified as Sunrise Seronay, 15, of Iligan City and Mario Angelo Vidal, 15, of Cagayan de Oro City, sought the help of the police detailed in the area around 5:30 a.m. after some of their belongings were missing inside their quarters at the Calinan Elementary School.

The athletes, all boxers, believed that their cellular phones were stolen while they were sleeping.

Immediately, the Calinan police conducted an operation to identify and arrest the suspect.

At 11 a.m. the operatives returned with the apprehended suspect.

Operatives traced the perpetrators’ path and found that they entered and exited by climbing the fence at the back portion of the school, Wesley said.

The police commander said the perpetrators entered the school around 3 a.m. amid the heavy rain.

Police checked on the CCTV footage in the barangay and noted three persons who were in the vicinity around that time.

Wesley said an asset tipped the police and they traced Detomas.

The two missing phones and a knife were alleged recovered in Detomas’ possession.

The suspect is now detained at the Calinan Police Precinct.

Three charges — theft, concealment of bladed weapon, and violation of the Comelec gun ban, which prohibits anybody from bringing deadly weapon – were filed against the suspect before the City Prosecution Office.

Wesley said the two other still-at-large suspects will also be included later in the theft case.

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