Cop chief: Search on for 3 Ozamis rob group members carrying stolen loot from Mandaue mall heist
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Police are still looking for three or four more members of the robbery group, who robbed the JCentre Mall in Mandaue City on Saturday night, October 19.
Police Colonel Jonathan Abella, Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) director, said in a press briefing that they believe that the group that was confirmed to be the Ozamis Group were made up of at least 12 members.
With nine members already arrested or killed, Abella said that they were now focusing on arresting the three other members of the group, who were believed to be carrying the stolen jewelry and cash.
He said that they confirmed their information about the group after they arrested five persons and killed four others, who allegedly resisted arrest.
He said that the arrest of the suspects was a result of the implementation of the Oplan Universe, where all the stations under Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) and Cebu Police Provincial Office (CPPO) were alerted about the mall heist in Mandaue City.
Abella also said that they also found out that group had been linked to robberies in Consolacion town and in Talisay City.
He, however, could not elaborate more on this information.
Aside from that, the group was also positively identified by the Bacolod City Police as those involved in the robbery of a jewelry store and pawnshop inside Gaisano City Grand Mall last August 2019.
According to Abella, the JCentre Mall robbery followed the same strategy or modus operandi with that of the robbery group that hit the mall in Bacolod City.
“Synchronised ilahang movements (Their movements are synchronized),” said Abella.
He was referring to the different roles that each member of the group had to fill during the robbery — where it took them only a few minutes to steal everything they wanted to steal and flee before the authorities arrived.
Abella also said that what also gave the robbers away in Bogo City was that they used the same Toyota Innova and the four motorcycles as they fled from the JCentre Mall on their way to Masbate.
As of this afternoon, October 20, Abella said that they still had not recovered the stolen jewelry and the rest of the money.
Authorities were only able to recover P345,000 cash, a .38 caliber revolver, chisels and two glass cutters.
Abella said that they were conducting further investigation to find and arrest the three or four more persons, who were designated to carry the stolen jewelry and cash./dbs
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