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Dental clinic robber nabbed

Police: Suspect hated doctors
/ 12:21 AM August 29, 2011

AuthoritieS finally caught the man who, for nearly three months, preyed on women dentists, taking their valuables before molesting and in some cases, even raping them.

Director Alan Purisima, chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), said that 32-year-old Albert Galang de la Cruz was arrested by intelligence operatives Sunday morning in Las Piñas City.

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A police official who interrogated him said that De la Cruz carried out the heists because he wanted to get back at “people in the medical profession” over the death of a friend.

“It’s him, it’s him,” two of around 10 victims exclaimed when they saw him at the NCRPO headquarters in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City, where he was taken following his arrest. Most of them were in tears.

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Another victim, a woman in her 40s, said that when she saw De la Cruz, shivers went down her spine.

“To be honest, I want to punch him,” the husband of yet another victim was overheard saying. His wife, who earlier positively identified De la Cruz as the one who barged inside her clinic and robbed her, promptly grabbed his arms to restrain him.

The police managed to track down De la Cruz after they arrested one of his cohorts—Ronald Bulalacao Policarpio—in Quezon City on Wednesday. When questioned, Policarpio told the police where De la Cruz was after he served as the lookout in two of the robberies.

As for De la Cruz, he confessed that he was behind 19 of the 23 robberies recorded by the police, Purisima said at a press briefing Sunday.

He added that intelligence officers were still tracking down his other accomplices.

NCRPO intelligence chief Senior Superintendent Conrado Capa, who described De la Cruz as a “serial criminal,” said that during questioning, the latter talked about “a harrowing medical experience” he went through several years ago.

“[He] brought a friend to a hospital for treatment. Unfortunately, his friend died at the hospital [so]… he wanted to get back at people in the medical profession to avenge the death of his friend,” Capa told reporters.

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“Since he could not barge [inside] hospitals, the suspect told us he picked dentists instead because they were easier targets. It [appears] the suspect did not make a distinction between doctors and dentists [because they both wear white coats],” the NCRPO official added.

De la Cruz pulled out a knife and tried to lob a tear gas canister at the policemen who went to his house in Pilar Village, Las Piñas City, at 5:30 a.m. Sunday but the arresting team led by Chief Inspectors Rendentor Agcio and Ferjen Torred managed to subdue him and place him under

custody.

According to the NCRPO chief, De la Cruz was released from New Bilibid Prison in December 2009 after he served at least five years for robbery.

When he started preying on women dentists, he used different names to keep the police from identifying him. He would pose as a potential patient, asking his would-be victim to work on his teeth before robbing them and then molesting or raping them at gunpoint.

Philippine Dental Association president Dr. Robert Tajonera, who also went to the NCRPO headquarters to see the suspect, expressed relief over his arrest.

“What he has been doing is inhuman. It’s not something a normal person would do,” Tajonera said.

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TAGS: Crime, dentists, Philippines – Metro, Rape, robbery
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