A JEWELRY store in downtown Cebu City, Cebu was robbed by four armed men who identified themselves as members of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) past 9 a.m. on Saturday, November 25, 2023.
In a video footage captured by the CCTV camera of Oro Sugbo Pawnshop and Jewelry Store, which is located in Colon Street, Barangay Kalubihan, the robbers wearing hats and face masks suddenly arrived and announced that they were going to serve a warrant of arrest against the store’s guard.
One of them sprang over the display cabinets and grabbed all the gold jewelry off the shelf, giving it to his companion who was carrying a sando bag, while the other two, armed with long guns, acted as lookouts.
In less than two minutes, the heist was completed, and the perpetrators fled on two motorcycles with the backriders mounting their weapons in plain view of onlookers.
According to some witnesses, the robbers turned towards Leon Kilat street until they disappeared from their sight.
No one dared to call the police while the robbery was going on out of fear.
In fact, the two security guards of the adjacent establishment hid inside because they had no service firearms.
As of this writing, the Carbon Police Station, which has jurisdiction over the area where the incident occurred, has not yet given an estimate of the value of all the jewelry that were taken.
A witness going by the nickname Jun, a shoe repairman who loiters in front of Oro Sugbo, said that as soon as the four suspects showed up, they pointed their weapons at him and ordered him to leave.
According to him, they identified themselves as NBI agents and stated they would be delivering an arrest order to the guard.
"Giingnan rako nga hawa diha, nidagan nako didto kay pusilon palang ta, ako giingnan ang mga tawo nga ayaw mo’g agi diha kay gitulis ang pawnshop," he said.
(They told me to leave, so I ran for fear of getting shot. I told the people not to go there because the pawnshop was robbed).
Another witness, Tata, a jewelry cleaner who witnessed what happened all throughout the robbery incident, said one of the perpetrators yelled when they entered the establishment, “The guard is wanted, we are from the NBI, don’t move.”
He said that aside from the M14 rifles, the perpetrators also had handguns tucked in their waists.
"Kuyaw kaayo sir kay mga M14 ang armas unya naa pa gyud gisuk-suk sa hawak. Unya human sila nanulis sakay dayon sila sa motor gisaka pa ang armas walay mga kurat," Tata said.
(It was terrible, sir, because they had M14s and handguns concealed around their waists. After the robbery, they got onto the motorcycle with their weapons mounted, seemingly unfazed).
According to Carbon Police Station Chief Police Major Miles Dumoslog, it took a few minutes for the pawnshop employees to notify the police out of concern about their safety.
Because of the robbers' use of high-caliber firearms and their method of robbery, the authorities think that the criminals are not from Cebu.
"Yan ang tingnan natin kung taga saan ito dahil mga high powered firearms yung dala nila so i-conduct natin ang investigation," Dumoslog said.
(We will find out where they came from in our investigation because they were carrying high-powered firearms).
Dumoslog added that they are currently tracking down all CCTV cameras in the downtown area in order to obtain clues.
When asked if there were any police personnel assigned nearby at the time of the heist, Dumoslog answered in the affirmative, but she mentioned that they were not stationary as they moved from one block to another.
Dumoslog did said that one police officer was not in his designated outpost and is now being investigated by his superior.
The aforementioned police officer reasoned that he was transacting something. (AYB, TPT)