Suspects in P5.5M pawnshop heist in Cebu face charges

FOUR suspected members of a robbery group are facing criminal charges in court for allegedly robbing a pawnshop in downtown Cebu City on April 25, 2015, carting away about P5.5 million worth of jewelry and the service firearm of a security guard.

State Prosecutor Noel Cellona found evidence to charge Michael “Budlat” Florida, Richard Taguman, Ruel Remedios and their unidentified companion with robbery in band before the Regional Trial Court in Cebu City.

Cellona said there’s enough evidence to show that the suspects helped each other in staging the robbery.

The stolen firearm was owned by security guard Rodeto Jimenez, the resolution said.

Jimenez, of Armscor, lost his 38 caliber pistol valued at P35,000 to the robbers.

The accused failed to submit their counter-affidavits, prompting the prosecutors to file the case in court based on the evidence submitted by the police.

The accused are alleged to be members of the Mindanao-based Florida-Remedios robbery gang led by Florida.

Among the witnesses who executed their affidavits are My Gold Jewelry Store’s employees, including Kristel Mae Bucol, cashier; Alma Entera, vault custodian; Ma. Corazon Pantonal, sales staff; and security guard Rodeto Jimenez; operatives of the police’s Regional Intelligence Division (RID) 7 and Regional Special Operations Group 7.

Same offense

State prosecutors earlier indicted the accused’s companion, Mario Remetre, of the same offense for allegedly conspiring with the others.

The four accused were tagged as suspects in the P1.9-million robbery of the e-Bingo Club at the City Times Square in Mandaue City last March 23, 2015.

Police also tagged Remedios and Remetre in the e-Bingo Boutique robbery in Barangay Bagacay, Dumaguete City last April 20, 2015. The culprits stole P200,000 that time.

Remedios allegedly took part in robbing Central Negros Electric Cooperative in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental. The group also separately pulled off heists in a pawnshop and a store in Tagbilaran City in broad daylight.

In the resolution, Prosecutor Cellona said the video footage and the affidavits of the security guards and the pawnshop’s employees are enough evidence to indict the respondents.
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