A 51-YEAR-OLD businesswoman was robbed at gunpoint by five men inside her house in Barangay Bankal, Lapu-Lapu City yesterday morning.
Marites Amit, a casino financier, told police the suspects tied her and her helper up and taped their mouths as they divested her house of valuables around 8:45 a.m.
About four hours after the robbery in the Deca 4 Subdivision, a team of Alcoy policemen arrested five persons in Oslob, around 120 kilometers south.
The five were using the black Mitsubishi Montero Sport (YLB-565) that had been taken from Amit during the robbery. Two of their companions initially got away, but the police caught up with them.
The robbers stripped Amit of P682,000 in cash, and jewelry, bags and gadgets worth P4.9 million. They also took away post-dated checks worth P2 million and fled on board her Montero, worth P1.5 million.
Police later learned that a house guest who owed Amit money had let the robbers in.
Around 2:30 a.m., Amit said, she went home with Joy Chan, 27, a native of Ozamis City, who promised to pay her debt to Amit amounting to P500,000.
Amit said that Chan asked if she could sleep at her house that night because she had a misunderstanding with her boyfriend.
Because she knows Chan well, Amit said she let her sleep in her house.
Around 7:45 a.m., Chan woke Amit and told her she would go downstairs to cook noodles because she was hungry. Amit recalled telling her she could ask the help to cook, but Chan said she would rather do it herself.
An investigation revealed that before Chan returned upstairs around 8:15 a.m., she unlocked the gate and the door downstairs. She also left the door of Amit’s room unlocked.
An hour later, four men entered the house. Amit said two men pointed a gun at her and violently turned her over on the bed so she wouldn’t see them.
Supt. Armando Radoc, chief of the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office, said that the robbers did not cover their faces.
Although the men tied Chan, they didn’t hit her, Amit said.
Aside from the cash and checks, the robbers carted jewelry worth P3 million, three Louis Vuitton bags worth P300,000, a solid gold Cartier watch worth P1.5 million, a Louis Vuitton wallet worth P60,000, one iPhone 5S worth P35,000, a Compaq laptop worth P25,000 and a Samsung phone worth P1,000.
They also took away the victim’s land titles, credit cards and IDs.
“Ila gyud gidala tanan (They took everything),” she said at the LLCPO Theft and Robbery Section.
According to police, four men entered the house while one served as a lookout.
The men tied the victim’s hands and feet inside her bedroom. They put a towel inside her mouth and covered it with duct tape.
They did the same to the helper inside the bathroom.
Radoc said he went to Amit’s house himself to investigate.
Based on the circumstances, Radoc said he told Chan she was a suspect and asked to her to cooperate.
“I told her that if she cooperates, we will help her,” Radoc told Sun.Star Cebu.
He asked the Cebu Provincial Police Office for help after learning from Chan that the suspects were going to Barangay Bato, Oslob where they would board a ferry to Ozamis City.
He also sent three vehicles to chase the suspects, who came from Ozamis City. Chan accompanied the police officers to identify the suspects.
Radoc said the suspects will face complaints for robbery, carnapping and illegal possession of firearms.
The complaints will be filed either today or tomorrow.
He said Chan will be detained but whether or not she will be charged for conniving with the suspects will depend on the investigation and Amit’s decision.
As of 8 p.m., the suspects and the stolen cash and valuables have yet to be turned over to LLCPO.
What worked in the police’s favor was their decision to set up checkpoints after being told about the robbery in Lapu-Lapu.
PO3 Emilio Carungay, chief investigator of Alcoy Police Station, said they established the checkpoint past 11 a.m. after they were informed by the provincial police headquarters to be on the lookout of a group of armed men on board a sports utility vehicle.
When the black Mitsubishi Montero Sport (YLB-565) was spotted on the highway of Barangay Poblacion, Alcoy, the policemen flagged it down.
But the SUV didn’t stop. This prompted a joint police team from Alcoy and Boljoon to follow the suspects until they caught them in Barangay Gawi, Oslob around 1 p.m.
Carungay said they got hold of the three suspects, while the other two ran away.
The three were identified as Rodrigo Boyles, 47, of Bulacan Province; Ken Anthony Colango, 21, of Mabini, Bohol; and Gary Jaylo, 34, of Barangay Garcia Hernandez, Bohol. Boyles was the driver, a police spot report said.
The police recovered two .45 pistols from the suspects. The only cash found on the three men was a P100 bill, but the police also retrieved several bags, including one brown Loius Vuitton handbag, a pair of Dior sunglasses, a yellow umbrella, car accessories and gray packaging tape.
The other two suspects were later intercepted in Barangay Tan-awan, Oslob. The police couldn’t give yet information on their identities as they were still being interrogated.