LBC robbed for 6th time in 2014

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

NORTHERN TRAIL.  Crime scene investigators look for evidence inside the treasurer’s office in the town hall of Compostela, some 25 kilometers north of Cebu City. Carmen and Sogod also reported similar burglaries yesterday. (Allan Cuizon)


SERIAL robbers are at it again.

Another LBC outlet was robbed before noon yesterday, this time the branch along a busy street in Barangay Subangdaku, Mandaue City.

Six robberies so far this year have cost LBC outlets in Cebu a total of P191,000. Combined, the five outlets that were robbed before yesterday lost P167,000.

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The outlet in yesterday’s case lost P24,000 in cash and valuables to two unidentified men within
just three minutes.

It was the third time it got robbed since it started operating, police said.

The outlet has no security guard and its closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera bogged down; the police have been saying these factors place any establishment at a greater risk of getting robbed.

In the first half this year, an average of 374 robberies occurred in Central Visayas per month, records from the Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division of Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 showed.

From January to June, there were 2,249 robberies recorded by police, which was 25 percent of all crimes against properties. Theft remained the most common crime, with 6,634 incidents or 75 percent of all crimes against property.

The latest robbery took place at 11:30 a.m. yesterday, when two men suddenly entered the outlet, said SPO3 Marcos Noval Jr. of Mandaue City Police Office’s (MCPO) Investigation and Detective Management Branch.

One of the suspects, clad in a white shirt, went directly to clerk Queenie Pie Diaz, 21. His cohort, who wore a helmet, sat down on the bench where customers sit to wait for their transaction.

The suspect declared a hold-up and opened the two drawers with one hand while the other hand was placed behind his back, as if he held a gun.

The suspect then took the P9,000 cash and P6,000 cash placed in each drawer. He led Diaz to the back room and took a mobile phone worth P9,000 and P300 cash owned by Shienna Uy, 22, the other clerk.

Struck thrice

Noval said that the suspect was apparently planning to lock Diaz in the bathroom, but left her and immediately ran outside. The two suspects then fled onboard a red XRM motorcycle.

Uy, who had gone out to buy lunch, came back several minutes later and learned from Diaz about what happened.

PO1 Jom Rosas of Subangdaku Police Station, who was patrolling several meters away, heard about it from residents and immediately proceeded to the scene.

Rosas, when interviewed by Sun.Star Cebu, said he checked the outlet at 10 a.m., about 90 minutes before the robbers struck.

He is assigned at the beat patrol and the area is one of his assignments since the outlet has been robbed several times. It was reportedly robbed in November last year and during the Holy Week.

“Mobisita gud ko diha pirmi. Maglingkodlingkod. Posible nagbantay ra gyud to sila (I visit that outlet a lot. It’s possible the robbers were monitoring the joint),” he said.

The outlet is equipped with a CCTV camera but it stopped operating yesterday after it was reportedly affected by the fluctuating electricity supply.

Witness

Senior Insp. Jimmy Fortes, head of MCPO’s IDMB, said they will ask the management to check their computer system because it may have recorded the suspects.

Edu Jay Ando, the outlet’s supervisor, declined to issue any statement yet regarding the incident. The outlet also suspended its operation after the robbery.

Noval said they will invite the female clerks for questioning as part of their standard operating
procedure. Diaz has only been working in the LBC outlet for three weeks, while Uy has been there for less than a year.

During the robbery, an elderly customer was sitting on the bench and busy texting. The customer told Sun.Star Cebu he didn’t hear any commotion nor notice the suspect who sat beside him.

“Wa gyud ko kabantay kay busy sad ko ug text (I didn’t notice anything. I was busy texting),” he said. He had just dropped off some clothes to be delivered to Manila.

The customer said the clerk then went out from the room and informed him that they got robbed.

“Ato ning sutaon gyud kung unsay tinuod (We’ll find out what really happened here),” Noval said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 27, 2014.

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