BORACAY – A robbery suspect in this world-famous island took a surprising turn for the better after returning the money he stole from a money changer shop owned by a Korean national.
Police didn’t know the suspect’s identity until Leandro Sarito decided to give back the money.
The incident, which was captured on CCTV camera, occurred on Wednesday showing Sarito leaving the money changer shop and carrying the backpack. The suspect’s face was not clearly seen in the video and his head was covered by a hood.
Sarito, a waiter and native of Canduyong, Odiongan, Romblon, said he was bothered by a guilty conscience when he opened the backpack in his house in Sitio Hagdan in Barangay Yapak.
To his surprise, inside the stolen backpack were cash worth around P2.7 million, a cash metal box, a bank passbook, and a checkbook.
On Thursday evening, the 24-year-old suspect made contact with Nico Caagbay, a teller at Golden Moon Foreign Exchange Services Money Changer located in Sitio Manggayad in Boracay Island, saying that he would return the money.
According to Sarito, he surrendered to Malay municipal police station in Balabag with Caagbay and turned in the money.
Investigation showed Caagbay returned from the comfort room only to find out that the backpack carrying a substantial amount and which he left inside the money changer’s office was missing. He reported the incident to authorities.
In an exclusive report of Radyo Todo Aklan 88.5 FM, the suspect apologized for committing the crime against his former employer, who hired him as a money changer cashier from February until May this year.
“Three days ago, naisip ko na gawin ito dahil kailangan ko ng pera para makauwi sa Romblon at makabakasyon sa amin, mga P5,000 lang sana ang balak kong kukunin,” Sarito said.
“Pagdating ko doon sa money changer, walang tao, hindi ko alam kung nasaan si Nico. Pinasok ko ang pinto ng money changer gamit ang ID card. Nakita ko ang backpack at kaagad kinuha. Hindi ko alam maraming pera sa loob ng backpack.”
After the robbery, Sarito said he immediately left the money changer on foot and went home.
“Hindi ako makatulog at nagulat dahil sa laki ng pera sa backpack. Tinago ko ang backpack sa amin, hindi ko rin binilang ang pera,” he added.
Sarito said the money changer owner reportedly forgave him and didn’t want to press charges.
As of this writing, Sarito was detained in the Boracay police station’s custodial facility. (With a report from Akean Forum/PN)