Man nabbed for stealing religious image in Manila
By Jeannette Andrade
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:03:00 06/30/2010
Filed Under: Crime, Police, Religion & Belief, Religions
POLICEMEN IN MANILA
prevented the other day the sale of a 40-year-old life-size statue of Jesus Christ with the arrest of a vendor who had stolen it from a church in Makati City.
Supt. Jimmy Tiu, Manila Police District (MPD) Station 8 chief, told the Inquirer that Elmeraldo Peredo, 39, a resident of Bacood, Sta. Mesa, had tried to sell the statue for P20,000 to a buyer.
He was arrested by Tiu’s men and the stolen statue was recovered after the buyer, Pedro Palomares, reported the vendor’s suspicious offer to Barangay 619 chair Lourdes Abulencia.
Tiu said Abulencia immediately reported the matter to the police who set up an entrapment operation, leading to Peredo’s arrest.
A follow-up operation conducted by Tiu’s men led to a search of Peredo’s house which yielded the stolen statue, as well as life-size images of Saint Anthony de Padua, San Roque and Saint Joseph.
The statues were taken to the Sta. Mesa police station for safekeeping.
Tiu told the Inquirer that the life-size statue of Jesus Christ was stolen on Sunday morning from the San Fabian Chapel in Makati City.
“He (Peredo) apparently fooled the caretaker into believing that he was authorized to take the statue from the chapel. He flagged down a tricycle and loaded the statue into it,” he said.
He added that the image was owned by a former city councilor who had asked church officials to keep it while his house was undergoing renovation.
Tiu said that they were conducting further investigation to determine whether Peredo was also behind the theft of other religious items and to identify the owners of the three other recovered statues.
Peredo, on the other hand, remains in the custody of the police pending the filing of robbery charges against him.