PRO 7 on alert for arrival of robbery group-A A +A
Friday, July 25, 2014
THE Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 is on the lookout for a robbery group responsible for stealing P2 million worth of jewelry from a mall in Cagayan de Oro last Tuesday.
Senior Supt. Conrado Capa, deputy regional director for operations of PRO 7, said they are not discounting the possibility that the suspects will dispose of their loot in Cebu.
“There’s no report of their presence here yet, but we are now intensifying our counterintelligence efforts,” he told reporters yesterday.
Capa said they have alerted business establishments, such as malls and banks, to stay on guard.
“They should be more careful and stricter in screening customers, like frisking them properly,” he said.
The acting chief of PRO 7’s Regional Intelligence Division (RID), in a separate interview, said the suspects are remnants of two robbery groups in Mindanao.
“Their leaders have already died so they formed another group. Before, they operate nationwide, mostly in the National Capital Region (NCR),” said Supt. Pablo Labra II.
Labra said their counterparts in Mindanao have identified some of the suspects and PRO 7 are now monitoring them here.
Labra said the suspects used to victimize banks but diverted their focus jewelry stores because there’s more money there.
“They will pawn the jewelry or melt them before selling them,” he said.
Big shopping malls in Cebu, Labra said, have already implemented security measures to avoid similar incidents.
Shoppers who will buy tools such as hammer, crowbars and similar objects will be escorted by security guards in going out.
Wearing of caps is also prohibited inside the malls as these have been used by robbers to avoid being identified.
A police report showed that the robbers in Cagayan De Oro bought hammers and vice grips from a hardware store before barging into the M. Lhuillier jewelry store past 7 p.m.
Armed with metal tools, they smashed the shop’s glass display shelves, emptied out their contents and fled.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 26, 2014.