P10-M heist work of pros–Police
DELAYED POLICE RESPONSE HIT
THE Dagupan police remain clueless as to the identities of the armed men who staged a broad daylight robbery on a jewelry store and pawnshop on busy A.B. Fernandez Avenue at about 9:11 a.m. on Nov. 10.
But Senior Superintendent Mariano Verzosa, officer-in-charge of the Pangasinan Police Provincial Office, believes that the heist was the work of professionals noting that it took the robbers only 77 seconds to finish the job.
“The way it was executed appears to have been well planned not only because the robbery lasted for only few seconds but because the perpetrators knew exactly where and how to escape, avoiding having to pass through police community precincts,” Verzosa said.
The police suspect that the group could be part of an organized criminal syndicate based in Metro Manila.
Traffic was still light at the A.B. Fernandez Avenue when seven armed men struck at BHF Gemline and Pawnshop with drawn handguns after disarming the lone security guard on duty.
More than P10 million worth of jewelry were carted away by the armed men who escaped from the crime scene on board four motorcycles in the direction of Amado Street where they vanished.
The incident became an embarrassment for the police when two members of the Public Order and Safety Office (POSO), not a single uniformed policeman that gave chase and ended up being fired upon with a burst from an armalite rifle.
The POSO men were unhurt but a stray bullet hit a bystander on the right ear.
“It was a perfect crime that only professionals used to such a job can do,” said Verzosa, who defended the Dagupan police’s late response saying the police arrived at the scene quickly but the robbers had already fled.
The police collected seven empty shells along Amado Street identified as expensive special bullets that cost about P180 each.
Based on the report of the Dagupan police, two of the motorcycles that the armed men rode were loaded at the back of a Ford A150 van while the other two motorcycles escorted the van in their escape.
A video footage from one of the four Closed Circuit Television (CCTC) camera of the establishment showed the armed men, without masks on their faces, rushing inside the establishments with drawn guns while a woman and a child pleaded for their lives then allowed to leave.
“The woman could be the tipster,” said Verzosa noting that the video footage caught her texting and the armed men came rushing in with drawn handguns shortly.
He theorized that there were lookouts and tipsters that aided the armed group.
Verzosa corroborated a statement to the media of Superintendent Romeo Caramat Jr., chief of police of Dagupan, that some of the suspects could have been ex-military men the way they operated.
Caramat tagged the holdup men as members of the “martilyo gang” noting that they used two hammers to break the glass display compartments where the jewelries were on display.
The security guard Lawrence Llenado, 26, and other employees was disarmed and were told to lay flat face down on the cement floor.
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