It is now clear who are behind the P2.5 million heist at the Prenda Negrense and Jewelry Shop Monday with the release of a facial sketch and the pictures of the two suspects yesterday.
This was disclosed by Bacolod City Police officer-in-charge, Senior Supt. Edgardo Ordaniel, who said robbery charges will be filed this week against the suspects.
The facial sketch drawn by the cartographic artist of the National Bureau of Investigation showed that one of the suspects is between 45 to 50 years old, about 5 feet and 6 inches tall, 150 lbs, of medium build and fair complexion.
His companion, whose image was captured by closed circuit television camera of a department store where they had bought several items days before the robbery, has a mustache and fair complexion.
Ordaniel said they also presented pictures of the acetylene gang members arrested in an area in Negros Occidental two years ago to employees of the pension house, where the suspects in the pawnshop robbery stayed.
LA UNION CONNECTION?
He said the pension house employees said one of the acetylene gang members, who is from La Union province, has a similar profile as one of the two suspects who stayed at their establishment from February 13 until Sunday.
They are also looking into the possible link of the of a former employee of the pension house, who has not reported for work since Sunday, to the suspects, as he is also from La Union, Ordaniel added.
The employee had been working at the pension house for a month now, police investigation showed.
Despite the declaration of the police that the total amount of money and jewelry taken from pawnshop was about P2.5 million, reports circulated that the value of the items taken was actually P10 million.
NOT P10 MILLION
However, Supt. Santiago Rapiz, head of the Bacolod City Police Special Operations Group, said it is quite impossible that the items stolen were worth P10 million because the robbers failed to get the safety deposit box, where the other jewelry was kept.
Joint operatives of Police Station 1, SOG, Investigation Branch and the National Bureau of Investigation led the probe of the robbery incident.
Rapiz had earlier said that 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.
ACETYLENE GANG EYED
When they were already inside, the suspects destroyed the concrete wall between Golden Hope and Prenda Negrense to get to the pawnshop vault and steal the jewelry.
The police 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.*APN