4 of 6 suspects in lending company robbery incident arrested
TAGUM CITY – Police authorities on Saturday announced the arrest of four of six suspects in Friday’s lending company robbery incident in nearby Panabo City.
Senior Inspector Rodel Calo, chief of the police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Davao del Norte, said two of the arrested suspects were security guards under the Blue Armor Security Agency based here.
“They were arrested hours after the incident during follow-up operations and we are still hunting down two more suspects,” Calo said.
He said the police were also able to recover a motorcycle and a handgun, believed to have been used in the crime, and more than P109,000 in cash, which was suspected to be part of the Gold Coin Credit and Loan Services loot.
The suspects, Calo said, entered the lending company’s office in San Vicente village in Panabo City around 10 a.m. Friday, declared the heist and emptied its vault of cash before fleeing.
Barely two hours after the Panabo robbery, eight armed suspects took advantage of the traffic snarl on Sobrecarey and Arellano Streets here, shot two occupants of an Sports Utility Vehicle before carting away some P3,000 in cash.
Supt. Juel Neil Salcedo, Tagum City police chief, said Dominador Respicio, 59, and Angelito Mar, 42, suffered gunshot wounds and were rushed to a local hospital after being shot by one of the suspects.
Respecio and Mar were employees of local hotelier Edilberto Tayong, who was not on the vehicle when the incident took place.
Salcedo said based on investigation, the victims were headed for Davao City on the vehicle that Mar was driving when caught in a traffic jam.
It was at this point that the armed men approached their vehicle, smashed its windows with hammers before shooting them, he said.
The suspects fled with the money the two victims had in a beltbag, Salcedo said.
Salcedo said the police had suspected that a highly-organized robbery group was behind the latest heist here, and possibly, similar incidents in the past.
Frinston L. Lim, Inquirer Mindanao
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