Robbery gang arrested
Five men who were tagged for a series of robbery hold-up incidents among establishments in Metro Manila were arrested by the police two hours after they robbed a carwash shop Wednesday night.
Police identified the apprehended suspects as Jeffrey Flores, 34; Ting Jocson, 22; Danu San Diego, 20; James Vecina, 22; and Mark Labarinto, all residents of Manila.
In a press briefing at the QCPD Headquarters in Camp Karingal yesterday, five victims of the group reported that they were robbed by at least seven men while inside a carwash shop at the corner of N. Roxas and Banawe Street in Barangay Lourdes, Quezon City past 7 p.m.
Among the customers in the shop was SPO3 Rommel Cordez, a member of the QCPD Crime Laboratory Unit, who tried to chase the fleeing suspects but who fired at him.
The victims sought help from personnel of QCPD Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit after one of them detected through a locator application that his stolen high-end mobile phone was near SM San Lazaro in Manila.
CIDU operatives immediately conducted an operation against the suspects with elements of QCPD La Loma Police Station, and NCRPO Special Operations Unit.
The victim, who was with the arresting officers, positively identified the suspects who were casually standing beside Convergys Building along MGC Drive in Tayuman, Manila.
However, two other members of the group managed to escape and are now subject of hot pursuit.
The arrested suspects admitted their crimes resulting in a follow-up operation at their alleged safehouse at M. Hizon Street in Manila.
Police were able to recover three motorcycles, four motorcycle helmets, a black bonnet, and several personal belongings of other victims.
CIDU-Theft and Robbery Section head Senior Inspector Alan Dela Cruz said that the group’s main target that night was the restaurant adjacent to the carwash shop.
Dela Cruz said that the presence of SPO3 Cordez pre-empted the suspects to rob the restaurant as they fled the scene.
Seized from the group were a Louis Vuitton bag containing assorted cell phones, a hand grenade, two caliber .45 pistols, and two caliber .38 revolvers.
According to the suspects, the firearms they used were being rented out to one of their cohorts they identified as certain “Junjun” who managed to escape.
Further investigation and backtracking of the incident also showed that the group was also behind the robbery in a Japanese restaurant along Tomas Morato in Quezon City last June 1, which the suspects did not deny. (Alexandria San Juan)
Minors sniffing marijuana
Two minors were nabbed after they were caught sniffing dried marijuana leaves in a basketball court in Caloocan City Wednesday night.
Elements from Police Community Precinct 1 arrested the two boys aged 15 and 17.
Initial investigation showed that the police were patrolling along Barangay 150 around 11:50 p.m.
The arresting officers said they caught the minors having a pot session in a basketball court along the area.
Upon searching, two sachets of dried marijuana leaves and drug paraphernalia were recovered from them. (Kate Javier)