'Acetylene' robbery gang strikes anew

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011


THE so-called "acetylene gang" struck anew and robbed a pawnshop in Zamboanga City of more than a million pesos worth of cash and jewelry, the police reported Tuesday.

The robbery happened at the New Padjak (Pawnshop) Plaza along J. S. Alano Street at the waterfront public market. It was discovered around 7:20 a.m. Monday after its owner and employees reported for work.

Police investigation showed that the suspects gained entry into the pawnshop "by passing through the culvert that was connected to Magay River situated several meters away from the pawnshop and drilled the pawnshop's floor."

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Further investigation showed that the suspects opened the pawnshop's vault "by using acetylene" and carted away P450,000 cash and assorted jewelry.

The police recovered from the pawnshop two hydraulic jacks, two craw bars, two oxygen tanks, three acetylene tanks, one acetylene gun, one vault cutter, a pair of pliers, flashlight, hand drill and blocks of wood that were used and abandoned by the suspects.

Last Monday's robbery was the second incident perpetrated by the acetylene gang in the city.

The first incident happened last Thursday when the suspects took away at least P3 million worth of jewelry and cash from the Ciudad Pawnshop, which is located at the ground floor of Imperial Hotel along Campaner Street in downtown area.

The police noted that the suspects gained entry into Ciudad Pawnshop also by passing through a culvert connected to the nearby Sucabon River.

Zamboanga City Police Director Edwin de Ocampo has ordered thorough investigation on the two cases to unmask the suspects.

De Ocampo also ordered the intelligence operatives to assist in the probe. (Bong Garcia)

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