By Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – Three persons, including a former security guard, were arrested by police in hot pursuit operation at Purok Pag-asa, Barangay Alijis here late Thursday night after they robbed a courier delivery service hub in Barangay Zone 12, Talisay City, Negros Occidental early that night.
Police identified the suspects as Rodolfo Suelan, 49, of Barangay Taculing here, a former security guard; Roberto Delo Santos, 42, a tricycle driver, and Richard Parcon, 45, both residents of Barangay Villamonte here.
Police Colonel Noel Aliño, director of Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO), said that the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (Nocppo) asked for assistance from the BCPO after the suspects were reported escaping on board a Pajero and a motorcycle towards Bacolod.
Personnel of Talisay City Police Station conducted a dragnet operation after receiving a report about the robbery incident that occurred around 7:50 p.m.
The suspects were cornered by Police Stations 6 and 7 and Talisay City Police Station in Barangay Alijis around 11:50 p.m.
One of the three suspects even jumped off a bridge to escape, but policemen chased and managed to arrest him.
According to Police Captain Judesses Catalogo, public information officer of Nocppo, the robbers allegedly carted away the cellular phones of the two employees and fled.
Based on a copy of the closed circuit television (CCTV) camera footage sent by Aliño to the media yesterday, the robbers barged into the compound of the courier service hub and threatened the employees at gunpoint before leaving on board a motorcycle.
Aliño said the suspects were armed and wore bulletproof vests.
Police recovered from Suelan a Smith and Wesson .38 caliber revolver with five live ammunition, a black jacket, a motorcycle without plate number, two cellular phones, and P801 cash.
Also recovered from Delo Santos were a Smith and Wesson .357-caliber revolver loaded with five live ammunition, eight live .357-caliber ammunition, a holster, a sling bag, a camouflage jacket, and a cellular phone.
Parcon yielded a Smith and Wesson .38-caliber revolver loaded with six live ammunition, a black wallet, a black sling bag, two black helmets, a backpack, and the car.
The three suspects are detained at Talisay City Police Station and will be charged with robbery and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition in relation to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) gun ban.
These suspects were tracked based on the Global Positioning System (GPS) on the stolen cellular phones, according to the police.
“This is a well-coordinated operation with Nocppo,” Aliño said, as he emphasized the importance of the time element in quick police response.
Aliño said that the apprehension of these suspects is also part of the BCPO’s newly-formed task force or tracker team called Bantay Holdaper and Akyat Bahay (B-HAB), which aims to go after robbers, following a recent series of robbery and hold-up incidents here.
He warned would-be criminals to never step foot here, or they will be sanctioned accordingly.
Aliño said that those persons who could not get something from the illegal drug trade have a tendency to shift into committing offenses like robbery or hold-up.
“Wag kayo dito. Wala kayong lugar dito,” he added.
Meanwhile, Police Major Wilfredo Benoman Jr., deputy chief of Talisay City Police Station, said that these suspects could not be linked to a robbery incident that killed a man and wounded his wife in a public market of Barangay Concepcion, Talisay City on October 2. Investigation is ongoing.