Ozamis rob gang leader capturedBy Niña Calleja
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The leader of the gang believed to be behind at least 17 robberies in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, including last month’s heist at the Alabang Town Center, had around P1.2 million in the bank, three sport utility vehicles and several properties in his live-in partner’s name when the police finally caught up with him.
During the arrest of Ricky Cadavero—the alleged leader of the Ozamis robbery group—on Friday in Cavite province, the police found in his possession three bank passbooks containing roughly P1.2 million. Also seized from him were a Mitsubishi Montero, a Honda CR-V and a Toyota Innova.
“These are tell-tale signs of his crimes,” Chief Supt Benito Estipona, director of the Southern Police District (SPD), told the
Estipona said a team from the SPD led by Chief Insp. Danilo Mendoza finally tracked down Cadavero’s whereabouts “after a month of painstaking surveillance.”
He did not give additional details although he admitted that they used “technology” and the information provided by other gang members they had earlier arrested.
Apart from Cadavero, the police also arrested his live-in partner Fe Tolentino and two other suspected members of the group identified as Randy Maratas and Avelino Lagata.
“With Cadavero’s arrest, all the 17 robberies he had carried out are deemed solved,” Estipona said.
Cadavero was being sought by the police for several robberies, including the one involving an armored van at Alabang Town Center in Muntinlupa City on Sept. 14 and two other incidents at Robinsons Metro East mall and Robinsons Galleria earlier this year.
He managed to evade arrest until a team of police arrested him and the other group members at a rented house in Cavite province on Friday.
Estipona said that Cadavero would not be able to post bail this time as he was found guilty in four cases of robbery
and frustrated murder in the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 215 last year.
As a result, he faces imprisonment of up to 67 years for the four cases, he added.
“While in hiding, he had amassed wealth and driven expensive cars,” Estipona said, noting that the SPD has received reports that Cadavero had bought residential properties under his live-in partner’s name in Ozamis City.
The bank accounts which contained his share of the loot from previous heists were also under his partner’s name, Estipona said.
Earlier, the SPD and Quezon City Police District arrested eight of the Ozamis robbery group in separate operations.
Estipona said the police were preparing to file more charges against the group members.