TWO gasoline stations in Barangay Luray II, Toledo City in western Cebu were robbed by four people late Sunday night.
Before the suspects could cart away their combined haul of P13,000 cash, the second heist turned into a bloody shootout between them and the gasoline station owner, killing one suspect and wounding three others.
Chief Insp. Michael Anthony Bastes, head of Toledo City Police Station, identified the fatality as Randy Jakosalem, 28, a native of Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.
Raul Monsanto, owner of Shell Gasoline Station, was hit in the shoulder while his pump boy Wiljune Nacua, 20, was hit in the leg.
Jakosalem’s unidentified cohort, who was able to flee, also got shot, Bastes said.
The suspects were on board two separate motorcycles when they robbed Platinum Gasoline Station at 10:15 p.m. They took P7,000 in cash.
The suspects, including a woman, proceeded to the Shell Gasoline Station some 100 meters away at 10:25 p.m.
They parked their motorcycles near the cashier’s booth.
Two suspects entered the booth and took P6,000 in cash and two mobile phones from Jose Tanoco, 35.
A pump boy, 20-year-old Aron Perequin, was able to run towards Monsanto’s house and inform the owner about the robbery.
A suspect fired at Perequin, but the bullet instead hit Nacua. Monsanto returned fire at the suspects, hitting one of them in the head.
The three suspects immediately fled from the gasoline station and left their dead companion and a Suzuki Raider motorcycle (2415 XO).
Monsanto and Nacua were brought to Toledo City Hospital, but were transferred to a private hospital in Cebu City. They’ve been declared out of danger.
Bastes said the fatality was the identified as Jakosalem through a pay slip that was recovered from the suspect’s wallet.
Police also found an identification card belonging to an Evan Bejec of Barangay Kamputhaw, Cebu City in Jakosalem’s possession.
Bejec told police he was victimized by a pickpocket in the Colon area last March.
Further investigation showed Jakosalem temporarily resided in the South Road Properties in Talisay City. He was a former security guard under Barte Investigation Security and Detective Agency located in Mandaue City.
Bastes said Jakosalem used to work as a guard at the Star Oil Gasoline Station in Talisay City. He was fired last June for reportedly poking a gun at his co-worker.
Toledo City police are coordinating with police in Balamban and Minglanilla towns, which also experienced similar robberies this year.
“Amo gipakita nila kung mao ba gihapon ni sila ang mga suspek (We wanted to check if the culprits are the same),” he told Sun.Star Cebu.
Cebu Provincial Police Office Director Noel Gillamac urged business establishments to hire blue guards, being the first line of defense.
The two gasoline stations have no security guards, but are equipped with a closed-circuit television camera.
He also urged security agencies to improve the skills of blue guards by training them to detect would-be robbers.
Chief Supt. Prudencio Tom Bañas, director of Police Regional Office 7, said he suspects criminals are turning to robbery because the series of drug raids may have affected their livelihood.
“We can’t totally prevent crimes from happening, but we will as much as possible get those, sooner or later, the perpetrators,” he said.