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1 dead, 6 wounded in Robinsons Galleria robbery

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11:45 AM March 29th, 2012

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MALL BLAST. Members of the Quezon City Police District Explosive and Ordinance Division look for grenade fragments and other pieces of evidence on the ground floor of Robinsons Galleria. Jamie Marie Elona/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—One person was killed while six others were wounded after two armed robbers lobbed a couple of grenades while fleeing with their loot from the Robinsons Galleria mall along Ortigas Avenue, corner EDSA, in Quezon City on Thursday, police said.

Philippine National Police spokesman Chief Superintendent Agrimero Cruz Jr. said the two still unidentified suspects, clad in security-guard uniform, attacked two bank guards who were escorting two bank tellers that were on their way to deliver an undetermined amount of money to Sanrys money changer shop located at the mall’s ground floor at around 10:15 a.m.

Cruz identified the fatality as Rodrigo Villa, a Security Bank guard escort.

Critically injured was Roderick Reloso, also a security escort. Also hurt were Security Bank tellers Vincent Mangatura and Lea del Mundo; and Paul Adrian, Johansen Dionisio and Jeremy Rabe, Cruz said.

The victims were rushed to Medical City and Rizal Medical Center for treatment, Bolalin said.

It was not clear how the robbery went although Mandaluyong police chief Superintendent Armando Bolalin said the victim carrying the money could have been robbed at gunpoint as indicated by several empty shells of a .45-caliber gun recovered at the crime scene.

He said the suspects lobbed two grenades as they fled with an undetermined amount of money.

“They hurled two grenades, but only one exploded. The other one is still intact, but already without a pin,” Bolalin said.

The suspects reportedly escaped on board a motorcycle.

In a statement, Rose Ann Villegas, head of the public relations office of Robinsons Land Corp., said at least two armed men “forcibly” entered the mall, attacked the guard stationed at the mall entrance and then followed the Security Bank officers who were delivering the money.

“It was so fast. To describe it, it was like zoom in and zoom out,” she said, adding that the mall was still closed to customers at the time of the incident.

She said the mall was closed for few hours after the incident and has since reopened to the public.

PNP chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome ordered a thorough probe of the incident.

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