8 in jewelry shop heist still hunted

POLICE are hunting eight or more men who robbed a jewelry shop and shot two security guards inside a department store in Sitio Tungasan, Barangay Valladolid, Carcar City last Saturday night.

Investigators have obtained the closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras of Super Metro and the ones installed in the streets by the city government. They will also check other CCTVs from neighboring towns.

The faces of the robbers were not clear in the footage because they wore caps.



The robbers possibly come from other provinces because some witnesses heard them talk in Tagalog.

Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 information officer Senior Supt. Renato Dugan said in a radio dyAB report that the culprits spoke in a different language to deceive the victims and investigators.

Mayor Nicepuro Apura urged the police to arrest the perpetrators “as soon as possible,” he said in a phone interview with Sun.Star Superbalita.

He also requested his local police force to be more visible in the streets, saying the presence of police officers can help prevent criminals from pursuing their plans.

Units

The Carcar City Police Station is being assisted by Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO)-Provincial Intelligence Branch, Regional Intelligence Division and Regional Special Operations Group in tracking down the culprits.

Chief Supt. Patrocinio Comendador Jr., the PRO 7 director, held a case conference with CPPO Director Clifford Gairanod, Carcar City Police Chief Brindo Nacario and intelligence officials about the incident in Carcar City yesterday.

Gairanod said they will coordinate with Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) to check previous robbery incidents. Supt. George Ylanan, CCPO deputy director for operations, was also present during the meeting.

For his part, Nacario admitted no police officers were stationed permanently in Super Metro before the incident. A team of cops were conducting patrol.

The police official admitted Comendador was disappointed over the incident.

Nacario said in an earlier report that the perpetrators are possibly members of Martilyo gang, a group that has victimized jewelry stores in Manila and known for shattering glass cases with the use of a hammer.

The robbery took place around 7:20 p.m., the police report states. The heist lasted about 15 minutes.

Robbers shot Crisanto Martinez, 30, and Antonio Fuentes, 45. They were rushed to a public hospital in Cebu City, but they were later transferred to a private hospital.

Witnesses told the police the robbers escaped on motorcycles, while others said they boarded a sedan parked in front of the store.

Witness

The writer Ernesto Lariosa, Superbalita columnist, was at the store’s food court when he heard gunshots.

He ducked.

While crawling a few meters for cover, he heard sales personnel and customers shouting.

Lariosa, also a former language consultant for Superbalita, saw a robber in yellow shirt, shouting at everyone to drop.

The next scene he noticed was the people lying face down near him. He saw at least four armed men enter the store while he was hiding under the tables.

A sales person told Lariosa the estimate of the jewelry taken by the robbers possibly ranges from P300,000 to P500,000.

Lawyer Vince Tumameng, Super Metro legal advisor, said the jewelry shop is a concessionaire and the exact amount of the stolen items will be known today.

He said the store’s management are still studying the possibility of giving a reward for the immediate capture of the culprits.
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