THREE unidentified men robbed an LBC branch in Punta Princesa, Cebu City around noon yesterday.
The suspects took P5,000 in cash from personnel of the LBC-Punta Princesa branch, whose closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera was not working. The branch also did not have a security guard.
The heist took place during the lunch break of Field Training Police personnel stationed across the street.
It was the second time the branch was robbed. Last October, it lost P5,000 to two armed men, whose faces were not visible in the security video.
The police warned LBC to strengthen the security of its outlets. This year alone, seven LBC branches in Cebu were robbed of a total of P196,000 in cash.
In Cebu City, three LBC outlets were robbed. The Punta Princesa branch is the third.
All LBC outlets did not have security guards and had defective CCTV cameras.
The police noted that usually, the robbers strike around noon.
Cebu City Police Office’s (CCPO) City Intelligence Branch Chief Romeo Santander lamented the lack of security measures at LBC outlets. He also described LBC personnel concerned of being uncooperative.
u201cThey were sarcastic and when we asked questions they don’t even want to answer,” said Santander in a phone interview.
u201cThey should have made sure that their CCTV was working, considering the number of LBC outlets robbed. They won’t say when their CCTV stopped working,” he said.
Sun.Star Cebu tried to interview the two cashiers and one technician of the LBC-Punta Princesa but they declined to issue statements.
The police said the LBC personnel told them the CCTV was not working because its wires were damaged by rats.
CCPO Director Noli Romana said the robbery took place 12:45 p.m. on F. Llamas St.
He said LBC personnel told the police the robbery was carried out by three men. Only one suspect approached the teller to demand for the money as one acted as lookout and the third drove the getaway motorcycle.
The suspect who approached the cashier pretended to inquire about LBC’s services before pointing a .45 pistol at the staff and declaring a holdup.
The Mobile Patrol Group set up road blocks in the hope of catching the suspects.
Two men on a motorcycle were held for questioning when they attempted to slip past a checkpoint, but they were later released.
Employees of nearby establishments on F.Llamas St. said they were not aware a robbery was taking place.
u201cDiha nami kahibaw pag-abot na sa police (We only found out about the robbery when the police arrived),” said Junjun Misa, a worker of a nearby establishment.
Santander said that the police will meet with branch managers of the LBC today. “The LBC branches are soft targets so we want to meet with their managers to discuss how we can beef up their security measures,” he said.
Santander said some LBC outlets are owned by franchisees.