Cops turn over ‘minor shoplifter’ to Mandaue social services office

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

POLICE turned over to social workers last Tuesday night a minor accused of stealing items from a boutique in a mall in Mandaue City last Aug. 7.

PO1 Mary Rose Megio of Subangdaku Police Station Women and Children’s Protection Desk said Jessamyn Romagos, owner of Stud Boutique, brought Josephine (real name withheld) to the station late Tuesday night.

Megio told Sun.Star Cebu that Romagos waited for Josephine to pay almost P10,000 for the allegedly stolen items, which included clothes, shoes and wallets. The suspect said someone would bring her money to the station.


When no one arrived by 11 p.m., Megio said they decided to turn Josephine over to the City Social Welfare Services Office.

Josephine claimed she is 16 years old, but she and her guardians who arrived later
have yet to present her birth certificate.

At 4 p.m. last Saturday, Josephine and two other women were taken to the station by
security personnel of a dance club in the Mandaue Reclamation Area.

The women alleged that Josephine failed to pay the money she owed them, which amounted to P9,000.

PO3 Allain Carado said they did not detain Josephine because the complainants refused to sign the incident report form.

“We did not detain her because no one wanted to act as complainant,” Carado told Sun.Star Cebu in a phone interview.

He added that the women said they were friends with Josephine.

He said he advised the two women to report the incident to a police station in Cebu City because their transaction with Josephine took place in the parking lot of a mall in the city that Friday night before they went to the disco club.

Carado said both parties settled the problem outside the station as a relative or friend of Josephine arrived with money for her payment.

The police officer said another person arrived at the station to collect payment from Josephine for the car she rented. Josephine also settled the matter, he said.

At the time Josephine was in the station, Carado said he was not aware she was the suspect in the Aug. 7 shoplifting incident, as the boutique owner referred to the suspect as “Marissa” in the incident report.

Romagos brought Josephine to the station as the former was able to contact and meet up with the suspect.

In an interview with TV 5’s Aksyon Bisaya, Josephine said she would pay for the items she took from the boutique.

She said she had the permission of the owner to take the clothes out of the shop, as she had promised to pay the items later that day.

But Romagos denied it, saying she would not allow any customer to leave her shop wearing clothes they have not paid for.

Josephine admitted she grew up pampered by her guardians, and that she was confident she could pay all the things she gets with their help.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 14, 2014.

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