A gang engaged in the theft and sale of Philippine National Railways (PNR) railroad ties was arrested following an entrapment operation that led to discovery of the stolen items – weighing a total of at least 50 kilograms – in a junk shop in Taguig City.
The theft of the railroad ties was believed to have caused the derailment of two PNR coaches last April 29.
One of the suspects was caught red-handed with the ties after he had just dismantled it from its concrete mooring with a sledgehammer early Thursday morning at the PNR Nichols station. He later pinpointed his other cohorts.
Discovered in the junkshop are Angle Bars that connect the rails together, Railroad Ties that fasten the railway to its correct width, Pandrol Clips that fasten the rails to the underlying railroad tie, and actual rails.
The arrested suspects, who professed different alibis, will be charged with theft while the owner of the junk shop, which was found to be operating without a business permit, will be charged with violation of the Anti-Fencing Law for buying stolen property.
The PNR will be installing CCTV cameras along railroad tracks to prevent theft of its rails.