4 robbery suspects preying on Edsa bus passengers fall in police ops
The Southern Police District (SPD) believes it has arrested the members of a criminal group, including its alleged leader, responsible for the series of robbery incidents victimizing riders of buses plying Edsa.
SPD director Chief Supt. Tomas Apolinario said on Friday they have already captured the members of the Alao bus robbery-holdup group, following a series of joint operations of Makati and Mandaluyong police.
The leader, identified as 22-year-old Roldan Alao, alias Intoy, was arrested with his cohort, 21-year-old Kevin Alvarez, alias Kevin Duran, on the latter’s house at Laperal Compound in Barangay Guadalupe Viejo on Thursday night.
On Sept. 6, passengers Jennilyn Barretto and Verner Allen Alpajora reported to police that they were robbed at knifepoint by two men inside a Bobjen Transport bus at a bus stop in Guadalupe Viejo around 8:30 p.m. The suspects took away valuables amounting to P35,000 before they alighted on Estrella Street.
On Friday morning, the complainants positively identified Alao and Duran as the ones who held them up.
SPO2 Rolando Concha, intelligence officer, said two other members who were arrested before, were also identified by other complaints: Joel Jackson, 21, arrested on Sept. 3 for possession of illegal drugs and bladed weapons, and urinating in public on J.P. Rizal Avenue; the fourth suspect Romeo Belarda, 29, was arrested on Thursday in a buy-bust operation in Guadalupe Viejo.
“They could not be suspected at first because they are just in their 20s and (they) dress appropriately,” he said.
Concha said the suspects were involved in a series of bus robbery incidents from August 29.
Concha said the suspects board on buses at Edsa-Guadalupe. Once inside, they immediately declare a holdup with their fan knives (balisong) pointed to their victims. In less than five minutes, they end their modus by alighting somewhere from Estrella Street to Gil Puyat Avenue.
“We immediately deployed policemen after the first incident, on Edsa and even plainclothes policemen also riding buses,” Concha said. “It will be difficult if they recruit more members and victimize more people.” JPV