Tuesday, June 26, 2012

'Same group behind mall heists'

MANILA, Philippines - The same robbery group pulled off the heists at the Robinson’s Metro East mall in Pasig City last Friday and the Robinson’s Galleria in Quezon City last March 29, police said yesterday.

Superintendent Remus Medina, intelligence chief of the Eastern Police District (EPD), said they are coordinating with other police units to identify the six robbers behind the P550,000 Metro East robbery.

Police investigators earlier claimed the same group of robbers is also behind the failed rob try on a bank at the Alabang Town Center in Muntinlupa City, which left one robber dead and several security guards wounded.

“The modus operandi deployed by the robbers in the twin robberies is the same. We are now seeking the help of other police unit with holdings to the group of robbers so we could identify, arrest and charged them in court,” Medina said in an interview.

EPD director Chief Superintendent Miguel Laurel has formed dedicated tracker teams to go after the robbers. Superintendent Ely Cruz, intelligence chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), has also created another police team to augment the EPD contingent.

Robinson’s Bank teller Roberto David Jr. was carrying a duffle bag containing the money to an armored van parked outside the Metro East mall when the robbers struck at about 11 a.m. Friday.

David’s escort, Edwin Nartia of the Puritan Security Agency, tried to reach for his service firearm but was shot by one of the four robbers in the right shoulder, arm and foot.

As the robbers were about to go out of the mall, they also shot security guards Floteldes Domingo and Jaylon Faciol, hitting them in the right arm and foot, respectively.

The robbers boarded a white Hyundai and transferred to a waiting silver-gray Mitsubishi Adventure parked at the corner of Panapik and Tagisan streets in Barangay San Roque and fled toward Marcos Highway.

The three security guards were brought to the hospital for treatment.

Medina said responding Scene of the Crime personnel recovered 11 shells, two bullets, two slugs and four magazines for .45 caliber automatic pistols at the crime scene.

Medina said four of the robbers were caught on the closed-circuit camera running out of the bank, one of them carrying the duffel bag.

The EPD intelligence chief said he is coordinating with the Quezon City Police District, which arrested Willy Enriquez and Ireneo de la Cruz in Ajuy, Iloilo, several days after the Robinson’s Galleria heist.

The robbers killed security guard Rodrigo Villa and wounded his companion, Roderick Relosio, and four others – Josua Toniza, Jeremy Rabe, Paul Adrian Sarmiento, and Lea del Mundo. They escaped with P14 million stolen from a moneychanger’s shop. - By Non Alquitran