Monday, March 10, 2008

(Manila)Credit card thieves fall in Glorietta mall

By Erwin Oliva, Julie M. Aurelio, Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:03am (Mla time) 03/08/2008

MANILA, Philippines--A taste for expensive signature brands did them in.

An employee of a popular videoke bar and four others were arrested Friday night in Makati after buying several brand-name items amounting to between P40,000 and P50,000 with the use of a stolen credit card.

The five alleged thieves were cornered inside the Glorietta 3 mall at the Ayala Center after public relations executive Imelda Dominguez, the credit card's owner, learned that the card was used in a transaction after she had lost it.

Supt. Manny Santos Jr, chief of the Makati police's investigation section, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer (parent company of the suspects will be charged on Monday at the city prosecutors' office with violation of Republic Act 8484 or the Credit Card Access Law.

The suspects were identified as Ma. Concepcion Enriquez, 22, her brother Regie Enriquez, 21; Rey Paul IbaƱez, 18; and Robert Castaneda, 22; all jobless and residents of Mandaluyong City.

Also arrested was Pauline Carla Arenal, 25, a cashier of the Red Box KTV on the third floor of Greenbelt 3 where the credit card was reported lost.

A representative from Matrix Entertainment, which operates the Red Box KTV, told that the company was fully cooperating with the police investigation, and has reportedly ordered an internal investigation in its branch in Greenbelt 3 where the employee was allegedly involved.

Initial investigation showed that Dominguez, 45, a resident of Kingswood Condominium in Brgy La Paz, Makati City, lost her Citibank credit card at the Red Box KTV on Friday and reported it to bank authorities.

Citibank immediately informed Dominguez, who just came from Singapore, that her missing credit card was being used, prompting her to alert security personnel in Glorietta mall, where the last transaction was made.

Glorietta 3 security officer Sonny Sablay told that Dominguez alerted them Friday afternoon of the ongoing transaction by the suspects.

Mall security was able to corner the suspects at around 5:22 p.m. at the Glorietta 3, minutes after they allegedly made the unauthorized purchases.

"We were able to recover Havainas slippers, Nike shoes, Nike jackets and other items from the suspects, as well as the stolen credit card in the name of Imelda R. Dominguez," Santos said.

Police added the suspects carried with them an allegedly fake identification card and even reportedly forged Dominguez's signature in making the purchases.

Arenal and the other suspects are currently in the custody of the Makati City Police awaiting inquest proceedings on Monday morning.

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