Pawnshop driver tagged in P2M theftBy Niña Calleja
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—A pawnshop company lost P2 million in cash, which it had intended to deposit with its branches in Marikina City, after its driver and the service vehicle carrying the money vanished over the weekend, police said.
Senior Superintendent Gabriel Lopez, Marikina police chief, said he ordered on Sunday a manhunt for the driver of the pawnshop identified as Andy Emuta, 29, who has been tagged as a suspect in the heist.
Lopez refused to identify the company upon the request of the owner, but according to a brief report entered in the blotter of the Marikina police station, the complainant was Ludivina Villarica, owner of the Dominion Pawnshop Inc.
Emuta, a native of Surigao del Sur and a trusted worker of the pawnshop, had been staying at the house of the owner in Makati City, police said.
Initial investigation showed that at around 12:45 p.m. on Saturday, the driver and two other employees of the pawnshop were hopping from one branch to another to deposit cash when the two employees asked for time to go to a restroom of their branch along Bayan-Bayanan Ave. in Barangay (village) Concepcion Uno, leaving the cash and valuables with the driver. The driver, aboard the gray Isuzu Crosswind, suddenly drove away, together with the cash amounting to P2 million and other valuables.
The vehicle with plate number POK-681 remained missing, as of Sunday.
“They informed the owner first before asking for the police’s help, perhaps thinking the driver might have gone somewhere to run some errands without their knowing,” Lopez said.
Hours later on Saturday when the driver had not come back, the owner decided to report the case at the Marikina police station.
The owner was perplexed and disappointed, telling the police that “those whom you took good care of could still rob you,” Lopez said.
The police are preparing to file a qualified theft charge against the suspect at the City Prosecutor’s Office.