Hoax pawnshop robbery lands workers in jail

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CAMP PACIANO RIZAL, Laguna—A supposed robbery of  a pawnshop in Calamba City owned by a business chain turned out to be an inside job to rip off an insurance company, according to the police on Saturday.

Laguna police director Senior Supt. Pascual Muñoz said nine employees of Planetwide Pawnshop, which is owned by Tambunting Pawnshops, were arrested and would be charged with qualified theft and obstruction of justice for their participation in the staged robbery.

This was after the pawnshop’s branch manager, Rosalinda Soldevilla, confessed to police that the robbery report was a hoax and that the missing pieces of jewelry were not stolen after all.

“We are looking at an inside job here. The business was losing, and we think this was an attempt to rip off their insurance company,” Muñoz said in a phone interview.

According to Muñoz, the Calamba police received a report around 5 p.m. on Friday that the Planetwide Pawnshop, located in Barangay Uno, was robbed. The robbers supposedly found their way through a dug-up tunnel that led to the pawnshop’s vault and stole jewelry worth P1 million, as claimed by the employees.

The police, however, became suspicious when they noticed that the tunnel appeared to be dug up from inside the pawnshop.

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