June 14, 2024

The pickpocket who was arrested by the police in the middle of a busy stretch of Halsema Highway along Km. 5, La Trinidad, Benguet is now facing a theft case.  
The movie-like arrest of the suspect, identified as Kevin Lumdang Villegas, 30 years old, went viral on social media last week.
Netizens were quick to upload their own videos of the incident, including a front angle video of the arrest taken from the dashcam of a motorist. In the video, two traffic police officers were seen going after the much taller suspect, slamming him to the ground.
A few minutes later, two more police officers came to their aid with the victim, who could be seen pointing animatedly at the suspect. 
According to the police report, the 32-year-old-victim was walking along Km. 5 with her toddler strapped in front of her 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 25 when she felt a hand inside the right pocket of her jacket where her cellphone was. When she looked back, she saw the suspect holding her cellphone.
She immediately went after the suspect while shouting, “Agtatakaw” (thief), which prompted the police officers, who were overseeing the traffic at the intersection, to act quickly. 
A case for violation of Article 308 of the Revised Penal Code or theft has been filed against the suspect.
Villegas, who hails from Cervantes, Ilocos Sur, is also facing theft cases in Baguio City.  
La Trinidad Municipal Police Station Chief Maj. June Tabigoon has reminded the residents to secure their valuable items especially when walking along crowded areas.
He said pickpockets would often blend in public spaces and busy areas but he assured police officers are doing their best to maintain safety and peace and order in the municipality. – Ofelia C. Empian