Acetylene gang strikes, but fails

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014


PERSONNEL of the San Pedro Police Station launched on Monday its manhunt operation against a group of men who broke into a pawnshop at Magallanes extension in Bankerohan, Davao City on July 6.

Initial investigation conducted by PO3 HerministroGalupe revealed that the incident possibly happened at 7:45 p.m.

Galupe said they believe that the suspects were members of the Acetylene Gang citing a similarity in their modus operandi.

The Acetylene Gang is a well-organized group because of its several sub-groups and members in different areas of the country. Its usual targets are pawnshops and jewelry stores.

This was learned after Khessia Jane Bandilao, a reliever appraiser of the Palawan Pawnshop, discovered that seven padlocks of their safety vaults were destroyed using an acetylene torch.

Galupe said the suspects gained entry by boring a hole on the wall beside the shop's comfort room.

"While the staff were conducting their inventory, they found out that the suspects failed to rob the jewelry worth around P2 million to P3 million and the 300,000 cash from the safety vaults," Galupe said.

He added that the suspects were not able to get the valuables and cash because of the numerous padlocks tied around the safety vaults.

Police are looking for four men.

The suspects reportedly checked in earlier at Eco Lodge along Quirino Avenue this city, above the establishment of a Gofish.Com Mktg.

According to Rey, a room boy, the four checked out around 6 a.m. on Monday. It was then the boy discovered that there was a hole at Room No. 6 where the robbers apparently used to enter the Gofish.Com Mktg.

Helen Lagura, owner of the establishment, told police that things inside their office were already disarranged when she arrived. She added that a caliber. 45 pistol placed in a vault is missing.

"The caliber with undetermined value was reportedly pawned to Lagura. She placed it inside their safety vault, which was believed to have been taken by the culprits after their plan to rob the shop failed," Galupe said.

Members of the Scene of the Crime Operatives (Soco) headed by Senior Supt. Jesus Vinluan have already lifted fingerprints at the crime scene.

Recovered from the crime scene were three tanks of portable acetylene tanks with torch nozzle, one manual hand drill, one flat screw, one flashlight, one black bag pack, and one brown jacket.

Suspected Acetylene Gang members also broke into SunscorGrocerama Supermarket at corner Saavedra Street and Juan dela Cruz Street in Toril on May 11. Suspects remain at large.

Toril Police Station commander Chief Inspector Angel Sumagaysay, in a separate interview, told Sun.Star Davao that they are already waiting for the warrant of arrest against the suspects.

"As to whether the suspects in the recent robbery incident were the ones' who robbed the supermarket, we never know. We have to check kasipwedengmagkasamalangsila, pwederinibangmyembro, at pwederinnasilayun," Sumagaysay said.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 08, 2014.

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