PASIG CITY -- Two men pretending to be cops were arrested after they duped some 20 security guards into believing that their firearms were defective, thus the need to "confiscate" them.
Unknown to the guards, their guns were sold by the fake cops elsewhere.
The suspects, identified by the police as Redentor Cuntapay Jr and Rodolf Manalo, were nabbed by authorities at a checkpoint in Pasig City.
Police flagged down the suspects for not wearing helmets, and noticed that Cuntapay was wearing a fake "POLICE" T-shirt and jacket.
The suspects, who initially resisted arrest, were positively identified by security guard Jefferson Pulido as the ones who "confiscated" his service firearm for having a "damaged firing pin."
According to Pulido, he was on guard when he was approached by the suspects who identified themselves as police officers and consequently "inspected" his gun.
"One of the suspects (Cuntapay) identified himself as SPO3 Elmer Dimalanta. He told me my gun had a damaged firing pin and that it would be taken to Camp Crame," Pulido said.
Cuntapay even gave Pulido a contact number for Camp Crame so he can "redeem" his firearm.
"I tried to call the number to no avail," Pulido, who said he has been looking for the suspects for a week now, lamented.
Senior Supt. Mario Rariza, chief of police of the Pasig City PNP, said the reason the suspects were flagged down at the checkpoint was because the law is strict on motorcycle riders without helmets.
"We have been looking for these men for a long time. They have three other pending cases in Pasig City. We believe they belong to a big syndicate," Rariza said.
Recovered from the suspects' possession were a fake "POLICE" shirt, fake IDs, and several IDs of security guards whom they allegedly victimized.
Police have tracked down one of the stolen guns in Quezon City.
The suspects have been charged with usurpation of authority, resisting arrest, and robbery. - Report from Jacque Manabat, ABS-CBN News