A manhunt operation by three police units last Saturday in Bagamanoc town led to the arrest of Virac’s No. 8 Most Wanted Person accused of carnapping.
Elements of the Bagamanoc police station, Virac police station and the Provincial Highway Patrol Team (PHPT) led by Bagamanoc deputy chief of police PSMS Lino Alberto went to the hideout of the suspect, which the report identified only as “Nikko,” in barangay Magsaysay last Nov. 27, 2021 at 12:50 PM.
A source from the Catanduanes Island Media Club named as Nikko Santos Panti, 24, single, jobless and a resident of Sto. Domingo, Virac.
He did not resist arrest when presented with the warrant issued by Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 42 in connection with a criminal charge for violation of Republic Act No. 10883 or the New Anti-Carnapping Act of 2016, with recommended bail of P300,000.
After being read his rights and subjected to medical examination and booking procedure, he was brought to the office of Highway Patrol Group Team Catanduanes headed by PSSg Edelmor Moran for proper disposition.
It may be recalled that on Aug. 4, 2021, Panti was apprehended 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.
The 27-year old victim had discovered that her helmet went missing while 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 hers was being sold online.
They immediately coordinated with the police, where negotiations began over the phone with the suspect who had identified himself as Michael Gonzales.
In the operation that followed after he agreed to hand over the helmet to the buyer, the authorities caught the suspect in the act of selling the stolen helmet.