The City Police Office (CPO) Station 1 stated Wednesday that the public has the right to make a citizen’s arrest on any person who will be caught in the act of committing a crime like trying to break into a car to commit theft.
Police Inspector Rey Aron Elona, the spokesperson of the CPO Station 1, told Palawan News on Wednesday anyone can apply the citizen’s arrest method or the warrantless arrest if an offense has just been committed and he/she has reason to believe that the person to be arrested has done it.
“Iyong mere attempt niya na magnakaw is a crime na. Although wala namang nanakaw, basta makita lang natin, may witness lang tayo ay allowed po yan,” Elona said.
He said the CPO is currently on high alert due to two reported incidents of “bukas-kotse” since the beginning of 2018.
Based on their assessment, Elona said the bukas-kotse gang members appear to be “rookies” victimizing car owners who leave their vehicle doors unlocked.
“Ayon sa aming initial investigation, ‘yong mga incident na ‘to, ‘yong pagbubukas nila ng kotse is tini-tiyempuhan lang nila kung bukas. Kasi kung makikita natin sa news, ‘yong mga sindikato talaga na ganito is meron talagang tools na ginagamit para mabuksan ‘yong kotse, so pag-umatake sila is sure talaga na mabubuksan talaga. Chance lang ‘yong hinahanap nila para maka-bukas talaga ng kotse,” Elona explained.
He added they are continually maintaining their police visibility in the places where the gang members are prone to attack.
“Actually, very minimal pa naman ‘yong mga ganyang incidents na so far sa span of 2018 is two [reported incidents] pa lang, ‘yon ‘yong mga reported. Pero ang nakikita namin is hindi pa naman talaga sila ‘yong syndicate na maiko-consider natin katulad ng mga nakikita natin sa Manila,” he said.
Elona encouraged the public to help the police by being vigilant against the bukas-kotse perpetrators and make a warrantless arrest if they are sure the suspect committed the offense.
However, he reminded that in the application of the method, the persons making the citizen arrest should also be careful not to place their lives in danger only to catch the suspect.
“Kung alam nila na kaya nila, i-size up din nila ‘yong situation. Kung sila naman ‘yong madedehado ay gumawa na lang sila ng paraan para ma-identify ‘yong suspect,” Elona said.