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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, February 19, 2013
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Robbers hit pawnshop,
cart away cash, jewelry

Robbers carted away P2.5 million in jewelry undetected, by breaking through the wall of a Bacolod pawnshop from a neighboring building, which was discovered yesterday morning long after they had disappeared.

Robbed was Prenda Negrense Pawnshop and Jewelry Store at Luzuriaga Street, Bacolod City, City Police Officer-in-Charge, Senior Supt. Edgardo Ordaniel, said.

The robbery was discovered by the employees of the Golden Hope Trading Inc. located beside the pawnshop, at about 8 a.m. yesterday, when they saw the wall dividing the two establishments destroyed.

The pawnshop is owned by Johnny Chua, who was fatally shot while he was on board his vehicle at JV-Burgos Street in Bacolod on Oct. 25, 2012.

Ordaniel said they are eyeing the Acetylene gang, or the Ozamis robbery group, which was also behind the P3.6 million heist at the Central Negros Electric Cooperative in March last year, as possible suspects.

Police recovered an acetylene tank, a saw, pliers and crescent in the pawnshop that were believed to have been used by the suspects.

Investigation conducted by joint operatives of Police Station 1, Bacolod City Police Investigation Branch and the Special Operations Group showed that the suspects, two Tagalog-speaking men, rented a room at a nearby pension house from February 13 to 17.

SOG head, Supt. Santiago Rapiz, said the suspects destroyed the concrete wall of their rented room at the fourth floor of the pension house, rappelled down to the Golden Hope Trading Inc. where they made a hole in its roof to gain entry.

Once inside, the suspects destroyed the concrete wall between Golden Hope and Prenda Negrense to get to the pawnshop’s vault and steal the jewelry.

The suspects also reportedly took P50,000 in cash but failed to get the watches in the display counter.

The suspects destroyed the alarm system of the pawnshop but did not touch the closed circuit television camera, which the management of the pawnshop said had been non-functional for some time now.

The management also told the police that their alarm went off Sunday, prompting the security agency that installed the system to call Police Station 1. However, the policemen left when they saw nothing unusual at the pawnshop, that was closed, after they conducted an ocular inspection from outside.

Ordaniel last night said they already have leads on the possible identities of the suspects but he did not give further details so as not to hamper their follow-up operations.*APN

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