Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Radio host latest victim of car thieves

Carjack gangs continued to defy authorities Thursday, taking a van owned by a radio program host in Quezon City.

Radio dzBB's Sam Nielsen reported the latest victim of carjacking was Carl Balita, a radio host on dzMM radio.

The report said Balita lost a white 2010-model Toyota Grandia van (ZSA-299), which was last seen at the parking lot of Torre Venezia at the corner of Timog Avenue and Mother Ignacia street.

Quezon City police have alerted their counterparts in Metro Manila about the theft of the van.

National attention has been focused on carjacking following the killings of car dealerVenson Evangelista and Emerson Lozano and Lozano's driver Ernani Sensil.

The bodies of Evangelista, Lozano, and Sensil were found charred in separate areas in Central Luzon days after they disappeared.

On the other hand, carjackers took the sport-utility vehicle Wednesday of Margarita Fores, a cousin of former Senator Manuel Roxas II, in Makati City. 

'Mutating' carjack gangs

Amid continued carjacking incidents, police are eyeing “mutating" robbery gangs as behind the crimes.
Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group spokesman Senior Superintendent Edwin Butacan said that while some gangs had been neutralized in 2010, they were resurrected with new leaders.
“Last year we neutralized many groups by arresting some leaders and killing others. But these groups mutate. Even if their leaders had fallen, either the leaders post bail or other members take their place and the groups become active again)," Butacan said in Filipino in an interview on dzBB on Thursday.

Citing records from his office, Butacan said at least 31 carjacking incidents have occurred so far this year, with many of the incidents involving motorcycles. 

He said the PNP is zeroing in on at least five gangs behind recent carjacking cases. These include the Dominguez, Bonifacio, Madrigal, Ivan Padilla, and Chingasa gangs. — LBG/RSJ, GMANews.TV

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