Helmet thief falls in Virac sting operation

A 23-year old jobless man has been arrested last week in an entrapment operation conducted by the Virac police station after he tried to sell a safety helmet he had stolen earlier from a public school teacher.

Nikko Santos Panti, a resident of Sto. Domingo, fell into the hands of the police at 7am of Aug. 4, 2021 in Pajo Baguio where he was caught in the act of selling the stolen helmet.

According to the Virac MPS report, the apprehension was made on the basis of the warrant of arrest issued by the Municipal Trial Court of Virac in connection with  Criminal Case No. 6897 filed against Panti for alleged violation of Presidential Decree 1612 or the Anti-Fencing Law, with recommended bail of P10,000.

The same report said that the 27-year old victim discovered that her helmet went missing while placed on the motorcycle parked in front of her school at around 3pm of July 23.

She mentioned the incident to her co-worker, who relayed to her after several hours the news that a helmet that looked like here was being sold online.

However, the report failed to state when the helmet was put up for sale online by the suspect, as it had been missing for 12 days.

The report simply said that immediately, they coordinated with the Virac police station, where the negotiation over the helmet was conducted with the suspect, who had identified himself as Michael Gonzales.

When the suspect agreed to hand over the helmet to the buyer, the authorities prepared the entrapment operation which led to the suspect being caught in the act of selling the “Carting” helmet.

They later learned the true identity of the suspect, whom the authorities believe may be responsible for the theft of several helmets in parking areas in the capital town.

In lauding the prompt action of the victims that led to Panti’s arrest, the Virac police urged the public to be more careful and circumspect in their online transactions so that they would not become unwitting victims of similar modus operandi.

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