URDANETA CITY–A notorious criminal group engaged in illegal drugs, hold-up, guns-for-hire and carnapping, was neutralized after three of its members, among them its leader, died in an encounter with members of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team of the Urdaneta City Police in the early morning of August 8 along the bypass road in Barangay Nancamaliran East.
P/Superintendent Rollifer Capoquian, Urdaneta City police chief, said the three were members of the “Apeng” Group, a notorious criminal gang operating in the Fifth and Sixth Districts of Pangasinan.
Shot dead during the encounter were Joward Olaes, alias “Apeng”, 28, tagged as the leader of the group; Michael Ucson, alias Mike, 30; and Lito Olaes, alias “Caloy”, 53, all from San Quintin town.
The three held up one Jesus Martinez De Guzman, a tricycle driver and commandeered his Pinoy 155 motorized tricycle and used it as their get-away vehicle. The suspects were on board a carnapped TMX motorized tricycle that they abandoned after seizing De Guzman’s tricycle.
Capoquian said members of the SWAT team were conducting police patrol in Nancamaliran East at the time and were flagged down by De Guzman. He told the the lawmen about the men who held him up and pointed to the direction the holdup men fled with his tricycle.
The SWAT team caught up with the suspects at the bypass road in Barangay Nancamaliran East where they were first fired upon by the holdup men, and a shootout ensued that led to the death of the three.
Recovered from the suspects were two 9 mm. and one caliber 45 pistols and the Pinoy 155 motorized tricycle, and personal belongings of De Guzman.
Capoquian said the neutralization of the Apeng Group dealt a big blow to the criminal syndicate as well as other groups operating in Pangasinan.
He said an intelligence unit is determining if there are other members of the Apeng Group on the loose. (Leonardo Micua)
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