Man arrested for possession of stolen iPhone; companion throws ‘ice’ in car chase with cops


A man was arrested for alleged possession of a stolen iPhone 5C while his companion engaged police officers in a car chase and threw a small baggie of methamphetamine or “ice” on a road in Susupe Thursday night.

Daniel Buniag, 25, was arrested for receiving stolen property, while John P. Deleon Guerrero, 38, was apprehended for illegal possession of a controlled substance and eluding a police officer.

At a hearing yesterday, Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo allowed Buniag to post a $125 cash bail and imposed a $10,000 cash bail for Deleon Guerrero’s temporary release.

Assistant public defender Eden Schwartz was appointed counsel for Buniag. The court will appoint a private counsel for Deleon Guerrero.

Police detective Catherine B. Pangelinan stated in her report that a 17-year-old teen and his dad went to the Department of Public Safety last Thursday to file a theft complaint.

Pangelinan said that, according to the 17-year-old student, a man approached him in front of Toha Market in San Antonio last Jan. 12 and asked for a ride to the Salvation Army in Chalan Piao, about half a mile from Toha Market. When they got there, the man grabbed the student’s iPhone 5C worth $550 and fled.

At 4:58pm last Thursday, the student answered a call on his mother’s cellular phone and was told by a man on the other end that he can have his iPhone back if he pays $220.

The caller stated he would call back to arrange their meeting place. After a few minutes, the man called again, asking the student if he has the money already.

From there, the student and his father proceeded to the police station to report the incident.

At the Commonwealth Bureau of Investigation parking lot, the student called the man’s cellphone number and told him he has the money.

The man set the meeting place at the Subway parking lot in Chalan Piao, saying he would be in a white car.

Pangelinan said she, along with the student, drove to Subway and waited in the parking lot with other police detectives surrounding the perimeter.

At 8:40pm, a detective spotted a white car with license plate AEP-751 in the parking lot of Gold Ribbon, which is located across Subway.

The car then proceeded to the parking lot of Subway, where Buniag got down from the front passenger side and made a call on his cell phone to contact the student.

Pangelinan said that when the student’s cell phone rang, she instructed the other detectives to arrest Buniag, who was in front of Subway.

Buniag was found in possession of the iPhone 5C in his pocket and the student identified the phone as his, Pangelinan said.

The white car, on the other hand, parked in front of the nearby Mobil gas station. A man got down from the left rear passenger and looked toward Subway.

Pangelinan said she ran toward the man, showed him her police badge, and told him to stop. The man rushed back inside the car and sped off toward As Perdido.

A police vehicle followed the car and other patrol cars joined the chase.

A patrol officer later spotted the white car by the Chalan Kanoa District Social Hall and activated his emergency light and siren, but the vehicle refused to stop.

Several other patrol cars chased the white car inside Chalan Kanoa toward Susupe.

A police officer saw that some items were thrown out from the white car in Susupe. A detective retrieved the thrown item—a small bag containing “ice.”

The white car was finally blocked south of Joeten Shopping Center in Susupe by patrol and traffic officers.

The driver of the car was identified as Deleon Guerrero, also known as Juan Masi. The male passenger in the rear was also taken to the police station.

Deleon Guerrero allegedly confessed that the “ice” in the small bag was his and that he threw it during the chase. He said he did not stop during the chase because his “adrenaline kicked in.”

Pangelinan said Buniag also confessed that he was aware that the iPhone 5C was stolen and was supposed to be traded for $220 with its owner.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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