Ozamis rob group behind jewelry heist?

POLICE cordon the entrance of Gaisano City Grand Mall in Barangay Singcang-Airport, Bacolod City after unidentified armed men robbed two jewelry stores inside the mall Wednesday night. (Glazyl Y. Masculino Photo)

By: Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – The Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) is currently validating reports on the alleged presence here of an armed robbery group from Ozamis City, following the P4.5-million robbery of two jewelry stores inside Gaisano City Grand Mall in Barangay Singcang-Airport here last Wednesday.

Police Colonel Henry Biñas, BCPO director, said they have identified the suspects who are allegedly part of a robbery group in Ozamis City.

On the evening of August 7, nine unidentified robbers armed with long firearms and pistols barged in the mall and threatened the two security guards posted at the entrance. Using hammers and axes, they then smashed the glass display shelves of F&C Pawnshop and Jewelry and Haoling Jewelry Store located at the mall’s ground floor.

Based on the inventory by the police, the robbers carted away P3.8 million worth of jewelries from F&C and another P700,000 worth of jewelries from Haoling Jewelry.

The robbers then fled on board two motorcycles and a car. No injuries were reported.

In March 2013, an F&C Pawnshop and Jewelry Store branch on Gonzaga Street here was also robbed with P1 million worth of jewelries by suspected members of Acetylene Gang and Ozamiz Group.

Biñas said there is a possibility that the group has contacts here that’s why there were able to strike.

“We are still checking their links with the group which also robbed a jewelry shop in Laguna last month,” he added.

Biñas also said that the security guards and others who were present during the incident will also be investigated.

Previously, shopping malls here had police assistance desks manned by at least two policemen, however, due to insufficiency of personnel in other areas, they were pulled out and transferred to their new assignments.

MALL goers gather outside Gaisano City Grand Mall in Barangay Singcang-Airport, Bacolod City after unidentified armed men robbed two jewelry stores inside the mall Wednesday night. (Glazyl Y. Masculino Photo)


Meanwhile, Biñas confirmed to journalists that most of the policemen were deployed to Ceres bus terminals since Tuesday afternoon to prevent injuries that might arise from the ongoing feud within the Yanson family, operator of Ceres Liner Buses in the province.

“The criminals exploited the situation,” he said. But, he claimed that the robbery incident was an isolated case.

Biñas said they have strengthened their intelligence monitoring and adjusted the deployment of policemen.

He also directed all 10 station commanders to be alert and intensify police visibility patrol.


On the other hand, Biñas met the business community and Councilor Al Victor Espino, chairman of the Committee on Police Matters, and Peace and Order of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) at GT Hotel here for a consultative meeting and dialogue after the jewelry heist.

Biñas said he has consistently asked the business community to install high-end closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras to aid the police force in their anti-criminality campaign.

In his previous interview with the Daily Guardian, Biñas said a CCTV camera with high definition features can help them in their investigation, especially in identifying the perpetrators.

Biñas said most establishments here have CCTV cameras but some are of low definition feature, which makes it difficult for them to recognize a person’s facial features.

“We thought of it as a long term solution against criminalities,” he said, adding that prevention is really important in their campaign.

Espino said he will propose for the possible amendment of three city ordinances pertaining to CCTV camera.

Espino said most of the businessmen who were present during the dialogue were amenable to reviewing their CCTV systems.

“We had this meeting to get feedback from the business community on what the city government and the police need to do for them, and to also be responsive to their need for their security and peace and order,” Espino said,

“After this meeting, we will try to come up with a legislative action next SP session regarding the said proposals to make it official,” he added.

He is also planning to send a letter to Police Brigadier General Rene Pamuspusan, director of Police Regional Office (PRO)-6, requesting for additional personnel to support the 562 BCPO officers.