Pawnshop loses P5 million in robbery-A A +A
Saturday, August 24, 2013
AN ALLEGED Mindanao-based organized syndicate pulled a daytime heist in Dumaguete City Saturday and carted away some P5-million worth of jewelry from Agencia Belen pawnshop.
Police said at least nine armed men barged into the pawnshop around 9 a.m. Saturday and announced a hold-up. The robbers also confiscated the shotgun of the security guard at the said pawnshop.
No one was hurt in the incident.
The suspects, believed to be members of the Alferez robbery/hold-up gang, fled with the jewelry on separate getaway vehicles, including motorcycles, a black Toyota Revo and possibly a white van, police added.
Various police units, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and other law enforcement agencies were then deployed, set up check points and mobilized foot and roving patrol teams which led to the arrest of one suspect.
The other suspects are still at large as law enforcers continue hot pursuit operations, as of this posting.
One of the suspects was identified as Jesuslou Elcarte Alegria, 42, a resident of Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur, who is now under the custody of the Dumaguete police.
Police recovered from Alegria gold jewelries which cost around P5 million as estimated by pawnshop owner Jose Miranda.
Alegria was arrested at abandoned house in Tubtubon, Sibulan town after residents spotted him and called in the authorities, said acting Philippine National Police (PNP) provincial director Superintendent Alet Virtucio.
Alegria was believed to have been previously detained at the Marikina jail on illegal drug charges.
Sibulan town’s policemen recovered a black Toyota Revo with plate number VHE 793 which was abandoned by some of the suspects.
Police investigators and Scene of Crime Operatives (Soco) recovered from the SUV two M-16 baby armalite rifles, three caliber .45 handguns, one caliber .38 revolver, several magazine clips, and numerous rounds of live ammunition.
Also found in the car were two red vehicle license plates bearing the registration number SKF 677, a handheld radio, personal belongings such as clothes and toiletries, a suitcase containing stuffed toys, backpacks and other personal effects.
An inventory is still being done by police investigators.
Based on registration documents recovered by the police, the Revo is registered to a certain Amalia Atienza of Cavite.
Coordination with the Highway Patrol Group in Dumaguete showed that the SUV is not in the list of carnapped vehicles, Virtucio said.
Two motorcycles, which appeared to be used as getaway vehicles by the other suspects, were also found abandoned at the parking lot of the Jo’s By the Sea restaurant in Ajong, Sibulan.
An employee of the said restaurant told reporters that two men driving the motorcycles just drove up to the parking lot, took of their helmets and boarded a white van which was waiting along the national highway.
The witness said the men did not even ask permission to leave the motorcycles and hastily boarded the white van, the sliding door of which was already opened and the motor engine running.
Police investigators are looking into the possibility that the men are part of the robbery group that held up the pawnshop in Dumaguete.
Investigators said they believe Alegria is the team leader of the robbery/hold-up group which could have arrived in Dumaguete a few weeks ago.
Intelligence reports last week said some suspected members of an organized crime group based in Mindanao arrived in Dumaguete and were spotted at the Robinson’s Place shopping mall in the city.
At the time the intelligence report had surfaced, police and military sources said the report was unverified, but banks, big business establishments, financial institutions and pawnshops were alerted.
Virtucio reiterated his appeal to the public to be vigilant and cooperate with the police, especially as the city’s population is bloated with the week-long celebration of the 112th Founders’ Day anniversary of Silliman University. (PNA)