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Dental clinic thief-rapist still at large, say police

Suspect in Laguna heist not behind Metro robberies

He’s not our guy.

Police officials in Quezon City and Manila on Wednesday said that the man arrested in Laguna province on Tuesday was not the one behind the series of dental-clinic robberies in Metro Manila.

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Richard Gamboa, 42, was picked up by the police at an auto shop in Barangay (village) San Vicente, Biñan City, Laguna, at around 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

This was after authorities spotted Gamboa’s Hyundai Tucson, a vehicle that had been reported stolen by its owner, a dentist, whom he robbed in March.

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Superintendent Leo Luna, Biñan City police chief, said they recovered a 9 mm pistol, two fake police identification cards in Gamboa’s name, a police uniform and a fake M16 rifle.

Senior Supt. Gilbert Cruz, Laguna police director, told the Inquirer in a phone interview that Gamboa was later positively identified by his victim, Dr. Eva Marie Olbes.

On March 29, Gamboa went to Olbes’ clinic in Calamba City and posed as a patient. He tied her up, robbed her and took her Hyundai Tucson.

Cruz, meanwhile, called on Gamboa’s other victims to file cases against him.

Luna added that they had sent pictures of Gamboa to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-National Capital Region office as he also urged dentists in Metro Manila who might have been victimized by the robbery suspect to come forward.

Police officials, however, said that Gamboa was not the man who, in the last few months, robbed several dental clinics in the metropolis and in some cases, molested several of his victims.

Chief Inspector Rodelio Marcelo, head of the Quezon City Police District’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit, said that the description given by several witnesses did not match Gamboa’s features.

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“It’s a different suspect. Our suspect [in the Quezon City robberies] is tall, slim and younger than the one arrested in Laguna,” Marcelo told the Inquirer.

His statements were echoed by Chief Supt. Roberto Rongavilla, head of the Manila Police District.

According to Rongavilla, the modus operandi of the robber preying on dentists in Manila was very different compared with that of Gamboa.

He said that although the robber, based on an artist’s sketch released by the MPD Women’s and Children’s Protection Desk in May, bore some resemblance to Gamboa, he was not the same man because he never stole the vehicles of any of his victims.

“But we are going to look into it as we have been closely coordinating with the Philippine Dental Association,” Rongavilla added.

Gamboa remains detained at the Biñan City jail.

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TAGS: Crime, dental clinics, Laguna, Philippines, Police, thief
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