Sewer used in pawnshop heist

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Sunday, December 29, 2013


EVEN the ongoing night market along Harrison Road in Baguio City could not deter thieves from robbing two pawnshops adjacent to a busy street, with still unidentified men using the underground network of sewer lines to enter two pawnshops in the heart of the city.

Police Superintendent Andrew Cayad, in a belated report, said pawnshop manager Aaron Villaceran called the Baguio City Police Office around 10 a.m. of December 26 to report a possible robbery after noticing a hole on the ground in one of the pawnshops.

Cayad immediately dispatched the Scene of the Crime Operatives (Soco) along with police personnel from Station 7 to check on the report.

Two neighboring pawnshops, Stargold and Carat Gem, located along Carantes Street bore the same pattern of entry, as their lobby floors had holes fit for a single person entry.

The Soco team then followed the tunnel route where the thieves could have possibly entered near the junction of Harrison road and Lower Mabini Street, where a dilapidated iron bar was used to cover the manhole.

Cayad said the pawnshops closed around 6 p.m. of December 25 right after completing their inventory.

"Investigation is still ongoing and we cannot yet determine the exact amount or items stolen," Cayad added.

He said, though, that manager of Carat Gem reported as missing a computer set and a portable PlayStation.

"According to the manager of the two pawnshops, all valuable items or jewelries pawned are place in the safety vaults of the pawnshops and it seems they were left untouched," said Cayad. "But an inventory of pawnshop items will be done by the pawnshop personnel after our investigation."

He also said that the crime may have happened around 8 p.m. of December 25 after the shops closed, and the thieves may have used the same route for exit, as there were no signs of forced exit on the shops.

Craw bars and other digging materials used to dig on the tunnel were also found in the area.

Cayad said they will look for possible suspects who are using the same method of robbery in their data bank after the investigation. (Larry Fabian)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on December 30, 2013.

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