3 armed men enter jewelry store on Colon Street, clean out vault
Employees of MyGoldStore, a pawnshop in Colon Street, were getting ready to fill glass display cases with jewelry at 8:30 a.m. yesterday when three armed men entered and wiped out the store.
The robbery took less than five minutes and was recorded on videotape in the store’s security camera.
With the vault already open for the start of the day’s business, the robbers quickly took fistfulls of jewlery and placed it in a sack and a black sling bag.
They drove away on motorbikes after padlocking the metal roll-up door, leaving four employees and a security guard inside.
“It looks like the robbers cleaned out the store,” said Senior Supt. Marciano Batiancila, Cebu City police chief.
He called an emergency meeting and ordered a review of the beat patrol deployment in the area.
An inventory is still be made of the stolen items, but one policeman said the value could reach P10 million, an unofficial estimate.
A total of P7,000 cash from the office was also reported missing.
Management representatives of the store, part of the Prime Asia Pawnshop chain, said they are ”investigating the incident” and hope to file charges against the culprits.
Batiancila said police will check whether the robbers were the same gang members responsible for the P1.9 million robbery of an electronic bingo outlet at the City Times Square in Mandaue City last March.
The Mandaue heist was also caught on footage of a security camera, which helped investigaors identify criminal suspects from Ozamiz City who were named in charges filed with the prosecutors office.
Batiancila said police will ask for a copy of the videotape of both robberies and compare.
“We are also looking into the possibility that they came from Mindanao and are now operating in Cebu City,” Batiancila told a press conference.
He ordered the police force to monitor all check points in case the robbers are still somewhere in the city.
Police said one bystander saw a motorcycle rider get off near the pawnshop earlier about 8 a.m.
The rider stood in front of the store and muttered into his cell phone: “dugaya ninyo, uy (you’re taking so long).”
As store employees arrived, the witness said, he saw another motorcycle ridden by two men stop by the store.
“I just saw the robbers enter the store and close the roll up door,” he said.
Reporters were able to view video footage of the robbery that took place in the store.
It showed Rodeto Jimenez, security guard of Evergreen Security Agency, mopping the floor at 8:30 a.m. Three female store employees were preparing jewelry pieces for display.
A minute after, three armed men opened the metal roll-up door and entered.
All wore caps. Two of them wore face masks.
A man in gray sweatshirt pointed his gun at the security guard and grabbed his .38 revolver
The guard and employees were told to stay in a corner and lie on the floor while the armed men collected the jewelry and placed it in a sling bag.
Then robbers padlocked the roll up door and fled.
Jimenez, the guard, was able to called the police who arrived and forced open the door with a pipe.
Other witnesses spotted a man in a helmet acting as lookout while the three armed men broke into the store.
Two weeks ago the Cebu Bankers Club (CBC) called on members to install security cameras and hire guards to protect their establishments from robbers.
“These robbers may be surveying their targets (and doing dry runs) days before the actual operation,” CBC vice president Maximo Eleccion said.
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