Surveillance camera leads to arrest of woman

»Woman accused of stealing purse containing $7K at CK bar

A surveillance camera has led to the identification and arrest of a woman who allegedly entered a bar in Chalan Kanoa, stole the bar owner’s purse containing $7,000 and other items, then played poker.

Felisha Ann Basa, 32, was arrested and taken before Superior Court Associate Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio Tuesday on charges of theft.

Kim-Tenorio imposed a $10,000 cash bail and set the preliminary hearing for May 17 at 1:30pm.

Assistant public defender Matthew Meyer was appointed as counsel for Basa. Assistant attorney general Heather Barcinas appeared for the government.

Police Detective Jesus K. Wabol stated in his report that investigation showed that a businesswoman, who owns Boss Karaoke and Bar in Chalan Kanoa, placed her Louis Vuitton purse on top of beer cases in the storage at the bar in the evening of Dec. 4, 2015.

When Korean customers came in and made orders, the owner went inside the kitchen and helped the cook.

The owner came back an hour later, and noticed her purse was gone. She checked the karaoke rooms, but could not find the purse.

The owner then called police and waited for their technician to review the surveillance camera.

The owner said based on their review of the camera’s footage, they observed a woman who walked slowly into the bar, then ran out carrying the missing the purse.

The owner of Viva Poker, who happened to be one of the customers at Boss Karaoke, learned about the missing purse so he called his security guard to proceed to Boss Karaoke and review the footage.

A few hours later, the Viva Poker owner told the victim that the suspect was playing poker at Viva Poker.

The victim went to Viva Poker, but the suspect, who was later identified as Basa, got up from the chair and went out.

When the victim showed Basa the footage on her phone, the suspect denied it’s her and ran outside.

The victim’s male friend chased Basa and managed to stop her near Viva Poker building. While waiting for the police to arrive, Basa’s boyfriend came, took her, and both then ran away.

Police said one local man chased Basa and her boyfriend. The local man later came back with Basa’s purse containing $1,900. Police procured the money as evidence.

Last Jan. 13, the victim appeared at the Department of Public Safety and provided police detective Catherine B. Pangelinan a flash drive containing the surveillance footage on the theft incident.

Pangelinan identified Basa in the footage.

Wabol said during an interview last Feb. 12, Basa admitted she entered Boss Karaoke, took a purse on the table, and ran away.

Basa told police that she gave the purse to her boyfriend, Carlos Ramangmou. She said they then went to Viva Poker, where they gambled.

Wabol said Basa confessed that when the victim approached her about the purse, she and Ramangmou ran away.

According to court documents, police arrested Basa last March 24, but she agreed to assist law enforcement as a cooperating defendant, provided DPS would agree to release her without posting cash subject to some conditions.

The government agreed with Basa’s request and asked the court to seal the case. The court granted the government’s request.

Last Monday, Barcinas filed a motion to unseal documents and moved to revoke the agreement for Basa’s release, after the defendant allegedly has not cooperated with law enforcement in ongoing investigations.

Kim-Tenorio granted the government’s request.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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