Suspected robbery gang leader, 7 accomplices arrested by cops in Pasig City
MANILA, Philippines—They are not exactly your friendly neighborhood spidermen.
Chief Supt. Abelardo Villacorta, the Eastern Police District director, claimed to have neutralized the “Spider Group”—which specialized in gaining the trust of members of a household before robbing them—by arresting the alleged gang leader and seven of his suspected cohorts, including two women.
The gang, Villacorta said, befriended neighbors, house helpers, security guards or even occupants of a home they were targeting before pulling a heist by tying their “friends” up and ransacking their house.
On Monday afternoon, teams from the EPD District Intelligence Division and the District Special Reaction Unit swooped down at a house along Col. Liksi Street, Barangay Caniogan in Pasig City, and rounded up suspected Spider Gang leader Randy Marcellano; his brother Randy; dismissed Pasig City policeman, SPO1 Rolando Baltazar and his common law wife Rhoda Marcellano; Jessie Malicdem; Edgar Giangan; Enrico Espinosa; and Myrna Bulauan.
Villacorta claimed that the group was in the middle of a binge on methamphethamine hydrochloride or shabu when the EPD policemen served arrest and search warrants issued by the Pasig City regional trial court branch 154 against them.
Almost all of the suspects, the EPD director said, had arrest warrants issued against them particularly for robbery, homicide, estafa, and violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.
Seized from the suspects were: P150,000 worth of shabu, drug paraphernalia, a hand grenade, a .38 revolver, replicas of a .45 pistol and M-16 automatic rifle, a knife; a bolt cutter, a pry bar and ammunition.
He said that the suspected gang leader, Marcellano, had been evading arrest since 2007 for robbery while Baltazar was removed from the service because of alleged drug offenses.
“The group has been operating since 1999 within Metro Manila and nearby provinces, victimizing houses whose owners are frequently away,” Villacorta said, adding that the group used information they got from people familiar with the house they were targeting before planning and carrying out their heist.
The EPD is verifying information that the same suspects were responsible for the July 18 robbery at a house in an exclusive village in Pasig City as well as another home invasion, which occurred in Marikina City just last week.
Villacorta said that they have been trying to verify a report that just hours before their arrest, the group had pulled a heist.
The suspects are now detained at the EPD Annex detention cell pending their presentation to the courts that issued warrants against them.
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