A man was arrested by the Mandaluyong Police yesterday for allegedly running off with a cellphone worth PHP68,000 (US$1,414) without paying for it.
Suspect Niño Maranan Bautista ordered the cellphone from an online seller, who agreed to the former’s request to meet near a house that was under construction.
“He got out and opened the gate for me,” the unidentified victim told the news program 24 Oras. “When I got in, he pointed at the surrounding houses and said, ‘That’s my house, [and] that’s mine too.'”
After a while, Bautista told the victim that he had to leave to meet his brother. The seller agreed to wait for the suspect but Bautista never returned back to their meeting place.
“I asked the people working there if he really owned that house. One of the workers said they don’t know him. He was just inquiring about the house. That’s when I realized that he stole the cellphone,” the victim said in English and Filipino.
Bautista was arrested after a Mandaluyong City cop went undercover and pretended to be a cellphone vendor. The cop offered to sell a cellphone to Bautista; the suspect was arrested when he met the police to finalize their transaction. Bautista’s alleged cohort, Malawi Panindigan, was also arrested.
The suspect confessed to the media that he had been scamming sellers for quite a while. The cellphones he had stolen are sold at a cheaper price on the black market, he said.
This article, Man arrested for allegedly stealing cellphone from online seller in Mandaluyong, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.