Issue of November 5, 2017

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Public warned of car ‘rent–pawn’ modus
by Ofelia C. Empian

The Highway Patrol Group-Cordillera warned of certain individuals employing various modus operandi targeting car owners and businessmen.

Chief/Insp. Juanito Guinid Jr., section chief of the Mobile and Motorcycles Team of HPG-CAR, said they are now focusing on cases of renta-sangla and other modus being reported in the city.

“These individuals would operate based on trust; once they get the trust of the victims they would then take the vehicle and disappear,” Guinid said.

Guinid said the modus of these individuals include the “renta-sangla scheme” and the “assume-balance scheme.”

In the renta-sangla, the suspects propose to rent the vehicles of individuals or businessmen for a certain amount and a certain period of time. Once the victim agrees, the suspect would offer to pay half of the rent and give the rest of the payment after the vehicle is returned.

The suspects would take the vehicle and disappear and can no longer be contacted by the car owner.

Even with a rental agreement, he said, the suspect would pass or pawn the rented vehicle to other unsuspecting individuals using fake documents of ownership of the vehicle.

In the case of the assume-balance modus, Guinid said the suspects usually target individuals who cannot continue paying for the installment plan of their vehicles.

The suspects propose that they would assume the remaining balance of the victim and would pay it off so they can have the vehicle. However, the suspect would not comply with their agreement, rather take the vehicle and sell it to unsuspecting individuals using fake documents.

“The victim would be left with much bigger obligations because they will still continue paying off the vehicle. In most of the cases reported here, they said the suspects were referred to them by someone they know that’s why they easily trust these persons,” he said.

He said this modus operandi started last year, including the rentangay, which employs the same scheme with the suspects posing as renters who would take away the vehicle and pass it to someone else.

In most of the cases of rentangay, the vehicle is forcibly taken from the driver.

Earlier reports stated that in these cases, the driver is either abandoned and wounded or end up getting killed.

Bulk of the cases the HPG is investigating are from the National Capital Region, Region 3, and Region 4-A as the “playground of syndicates” in which some of the vehicles were recovered in the Cordillera.

He said they have not confirmed yet if there are groups or syndicates operating within the region with the said modus but clarified that there are individuals who were complained of engaging in the modus.

Even with its proliferation, data from the HPG-CAR showed a 50 percent reduction in reported carnapping and motornapping cases this year.

Based on the data, 51 cases of carnapping/motornapping were recorded from January to September. There were 101 reported cases in the same period last year.

Guinid said most of the cases involved stolen motorcycles especially in the provinces.

He said they owe the reduction of cases to the strict implementation of the anti-carnapping law in partnership with the local police.

“Vehicle buyers must be vigilant when buying second hand vehicles. They can have the vehicles checked here in HPG-CAR because we have a database of carnapped vehicles or at the Land Transportation Office for the authenticity of the vehicle,” he said.

He added luxury car buyers should also be wary if the vehicle  is sold at a very low price.

“Car owners should also secure their vehicles and should not be complacent,” Guinid said.

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