Pawnshop robbery: 3 more persons identified in ‘robbery group’
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Police here have identified three more persons believed to be members of a big robbery group that staged the daring pawnshop robbery in Cebu City on Saturday, November 25, 2023.
This progress in the operation came after police earlier arrested four individuals accused of being involved in the heist.
It can be recalled that four armed men were captured in closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage looting a pawnshop and jewelry store along Colon Street after claiming that they were operatives making an arrest.
Once inside, the suspects declared a holdup, ordered the guard to lie face down on the floor then looted an undetermined amount of jewelry from the shop’s glass display cases.
During the conduct of the hot-pursuit operation, two persons from a barangay in Mandaue City were taken by police to the station for questioning on Sunday, November 26.
The two individuals were labeled as persons of interest in the robbery after police received an unconfirmed report that they were involved in the pawnshop heist. Both individuals were also being monitored by police for possible robbery activities.
However, police will still be establishing the role that the two might have played in the crime.
A day after the Mandaue arrest, two more alleged suspects were collared by operatives during a checkpoint in Sibonga town, southern Cebu on Monday, November 27.
The arrested persons were identified as Dann Carlo Flores and Jordan Baqiano.
The two men were stopped by authorities after they recognized that the vehicle they were in resembled the getaway vehicle used after the pawnshop robbery. The two allegedly attempted to escape but were blocked by police manning the checkpoint. The two were then taken to the police station.
Officers discovered several weapons inside the car, including a high-powered KG9 submachine gun, and two grenades. They were also able to establish the role that the two played in the crime.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Gerard Ace Pelare, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), revealed that the arrested suspects were allegedly from a big and organized robbery group who were not from Cebu.
Pelare relayed that this group usually contacts local players from their target place for assistance. In order to dispose of the stolen items immediately, the robbers would contact a buyer beforehand.
They would also conduct a survey to determine their entry and exit points from their target establishments.
As of this writing, the store is still conducting an inventory of the stolen pieces of jewelry that were not recovered, stated Pelare.
Pelare also assured that it will only be a matter of time before all the suspects involved in the pawnshop robbery are apprehended. Police initially received information that 6-8 persons were involved in the heist.
“We believe that CCPO is on the right track in their investigation. They have significant progress on their hot-pursuit operations. Siguro, in a matter of time, we can uncover what happened before, during, and after. Of course, the ultimate goal is makafile ta og charges,” said Pelare.
Police have in their possession the alleged get-away vehicle, a motorcycle, assorted firearms, and the clothes that the perpetrators allegedly wore on Saturday.
Pelare said that the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) is now preparing the cases to be filed against the alleged suspectsin the pawnshop robbery. He added that an investigation would later be conducted to determine if there was negligence from the police, security guard, or even the owner of the pawnshop.
He explained that this was so that they could determine the changes that needed to be applied to the security measures in order to avoid a repeat of such incidents.
He also assured the public that the police would continue to monitor the robbery group to apprehend them and send them to jail.
“We would like to assure you nga kaning ilang modus is already being uncovered by the PNP. Gamay na lang panahon nga tanan gyud sila mailhan and subsequently madakpan,” stated Pelare.
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