Police arrest another alleged IPI copper wire thief


Police arrested in Upper Miha, Garapan a 34-year-old man, who was tagged as the third suspect in the theft of 39 feet of copper wire from the Imperial Pacific International Ltd. compound in Lower Base.

John D. Sellem was taken before the Superior Court yesterday for bail hearing on charges of theft and conspiracy.

Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho maintained the $20,000 cash bail that Associate Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio imposed in issuing the arrest warrant for Sellem.

Preliminary hearing will be on Aug. 14 at 9am.

A private counsel will be appointed for Sellem. Assistant attorney general Heather Barcinas appeared for the government.

According to police, Mario O. Sablan and Frank T. Pangelinan were first arrested last July 2.

Sablan allegedly identified Sellem as their companion who managed to run away when they stole copper wire at the IPI compound last May 3.

Sablan allegedly told police that he met with Sellem in Garapan on May 3. The two men proceeded to U-Luck Poker in Garapan, where they met Pangelinan.

After the three smoked “ice” provided by Pangelinan, they proceeded to the IPI compound in Lower Base to steal copper wire. It was Sellem who allegedly directed them to the compound.

An IPI employee saw the three suspects stealing copper wire worth $1,018. The employee flagged down two police officers who happened to be heading to the area.

As a result, Sablan and Pangelinan were arrested at the scene. Sellem allegedly managed to run away.

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 ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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