POLICEMEN surrounded a jewelry pawnshop when eight persons who acted as robbers swooped on a business establishment in Barangay Centro, Mandaue City yesterday morning.
Six of the suspects got away using a van while two others held one of the pawnshop employees as a hostage.
It was not a real robbery incident, but a part of the robbery simulation exercise performed by the Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) and initiated Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 led by Police Chief Supt. Patrocinio Comendador, the PRO 7 director.
The PRO 7 partnered with VG Star Pawnshop for the activity, which started at 10 a.m.
The simulation exercise lasted about 30 minutes.
VG Pawnshop is on S.B. Cabahug St., a few meters from the Mandaue City Hall.
“Nakita man gud nato nga dili kaayo ni well-secured, mga ingon ani ba akong panawagan nila nga (Sometimes, pawnshops are not well-secured. My advice to the owners is) they really have to study the security aspect of their structures because it should be available,” Comendador said.
He said pawnshops are usually along the streets and are vulnerable to robbery because the robbers can just easily stop and get inside the establishments, especially if there are no barriers.
Yesterday, the robbers, who were also played by the policemen, arrived at VG Star Pawnshop.
The six immediately got out from the pawnshop and left while the two held an employee as a hostage.
A patrol car from the MCPO arrived. Police and members of the Special Weapons and Tactics were there to rescue the hostage.
The authorities eventually shot the two suspects.
After that, personnel of the Scene of the Crime Operatives immediately entered the crime scene.
The six robbers who tried to elude the authorities were intercepted in Barangay Guizo.
“Sakto ra, (What the MCPO personnel did was just right and it was) very realistic...
During the activity, it was observed that some of the policemen did not have bulletproof vests.
Comendador said there are still police offices that lack bulletproof vests, that was why the MCPO personnel that responded to the supposed robbery incident used the patrol car to shield themselves.
Comendador gave MCPO an eight out of 10 rating.
In a separate interview, Senior Supt. Armando Radoc, head of PRO 7’s Regional Operations and Plans Division, said that based on the activity, the response time is one of things that should be improved.
He said policemen arrived more than five minutes, which should have been earlier.
“If we can do in less than 5minutes it’s very good because if you have to look at bank robbery, it should be less than 5 minutes,” Radoc said.
Aside from this, communication during robbery incidents is very important, he said.
To address the shortcomings, PRO 7 will call the attention of the MCPO and make some suggestions.
While the simulation exercise was being conducted, people thought that the robbery was real at first.
Traffic also built up.
Comendador said the public, like the traffic enforcer, should have the initiative to re-route the traffic.