A security guard was caught stealing at least P200,000 in store proceeds by climbing the ceiling of a mall at the North Reclamation Area in Cebu City.
Venardo Deligero climbed the ceiling of a comfort room of a fastfood chain and hid there until SM City closed.
Then he crawled to Red Ribbon, a bakeshop and restaurant, got down and opened its vault.
Police said P235,461 cash was recovered from Deligero, a security guard reportedly detailed at a local TV station.
The robbery was discovered when the store manager, Ariel Gayo, arrived before 8 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 29.
He found the vault open and a portion of the where the ceiling already detached.
Police said personnel of a bank beside Red Ribbon noticed an unusual sound coming from the ceiling that prompted them to call the mall security personnel.
Deligero, a resident of barangay Basak, Lapu-Lapu City, was found still hiding there, said PO1 Ramil Duyag of the theft and robbery section of the Cebu City Police Office.
Deligero was found carrying a belt bag owned by Red Ribbon.
The bag contained cash.
In an interview, Deligero said he was forced to steal to buy medicine for his ailing parents.
Deligero said he earns P4,000 a month as a security guard but receives only P1,000 per payday because of pay deductions.
Police said theft charges will be filed against Deligero, who is being detained in the police headquarters.