Rob gang busted after preying on rookie cop
Five members of the “Laglag Barya” gang who had just victimized a rookie policeman were arrested on Sunday afternoon in their safehouse in Quezon City.
The group’s hideout, a room at the South Homes Apartelle on Timog Avenue, was reportedly paid for by their financier.
“The gang has a backer who rented a room that served as a safehouse for the suspects. They would plan their hits and split up the loot there,” said Insp. Alan dela Cruz, theft and robbery section head of the Quezon City Police District’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit. He did, however, identify the group’s financier.
The five identified as Michael dela Cruz, 30; Resty Hopio, 23; Ehzier Fortuna, 36; Joven Patropes, 25; and Jill Ryan Ibardoloza, 35; were arrested three hours after they robbed a passenger on a jeepney.
Little did they know that their victim, PO1 Liberato Antang, 25, was a rookie policeman assigned with the Special Action Force in Laguna province.
The robbery happened at the corner of West and Quezon Avenues in Barangay (village) West Triangle, Quezon City, around 2:20 p.m. Sunday.
Masambong police station commander Supt. Pedro Sanchez said the rookie lawman was in the jeepney when one of the suspects deliberately distracted him by letting some coins fall on the floor.
As the policeman started picking up some of the coins, one of the suspects tried to pick his pocket. Antang, however, noticed what he was doing, prompting the robber to demand his wallet at knifepoint.
Antang who was unarmed, gave his wallet to the man who alighted from the jeep with his cohorts. The group then fled in different directions.
However, the policeman chased Patropes who was the one who had robbed him at knifepoint.
Antang managed to get the knife from the suspect. He also sought help from a team of patrolling policemen who happened to pass by the area.
Dela Cruz said Patropes eventually confessed that his cohorts were hiding in the apartelle. A follow-up operation led to the arrest of the other suspects on Sunday afternoon.
Recovered from the group were two knives, four cell phones, Antang’s wallet which contained P7,000, drug paraphernalia and several women’s bags.
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