CEBU CITY, Philippines – A thief, or a group of thieves, struck a supermarket in Pinamungajan town, southwestern Cebu, and took off P1.6 million in cash, police there confirmed.
The Pinamungajan Police Station on Monday, January 30, 2023, said they received theft and damage to property complaints from the management of Prince Town Warehouse.
Police Major Vincent Zozobrado said at least P1.6 million in cash, most of which happened to be the store’s proceeds, was stolen.
“According to their auditors and accountants, they lost at least P1.6 million,” Zozobrado told CDN Digital in a phone interview in Cebuano.
Initial investigations from the Pinamungajan police showed that the crime may have taken place on Sunday dawn.
The area manager, a certain Moneth Tanggarorang, and several of her staff only discovered the burglary a few hours later, around 7 a.m.
As they prepared to open shop, they found out that the door leading to the location of the store’s vault on the second floor of their office area had been damaged. They also saw that the safe’s door itself was open, with all the cash inside missing, police said.
Citing findings from their investigators, Zozobrado said they believed the thieves already went inside the supermarket during business hours and hid there until closing time.
“We found no signs of forced entry into the supermarket,” he said.
He added that the suspects also managed to leave only a few traces of the crime as police discovered that closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in the establishment have been upturned, with their memory cards missing.
As of this writing, investigators continue to gather accounts from witnesses and even visitors who frequent the supermarket to identify the thief or thieves.
“We are still figuring out if he worked alone or with accomplices. What we have so far are statements from witnesses, including one saying that the suspect may have frequented this establishment before striking and that he reportedly displayed suspicious behavior,” Zozobrado explained.
“There’s also one possibility we’re considering which is that the thief, or group of thieves, are not from here,” he added.
In the meantime, police is asking for the public to help them catch the suspects.
Pinamungajan is a second-class municipality located approximately 56 kilometers southwest of Cebu City.
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