Manila cops note signs ATM heist an ‘inside job’
Was it a case of “holdup me?”
The police have started looking into the possibility that the P6.2 million ATM heist in Ermita, Manila, on Monday was an inside job.
Senior Supt. Carlito Feliciano, Manila Police District (MPD) deputy district director for operations, said investigators were conducting a background check of the three-man armored van crew who said they were held up as they were delivering the money to a Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) branch.
According to Feliciano, he found it odd that the victims—ATM technician Arnold Marollano, security escort Jessie dela Cruz and armored van driver Rizal de Daulo—did not even resist when they were robbed. “To think there were three of them [against the] two men [who] took the money,” he said.
Another thing Feliciano found “highly questionable” was De Daulo’s failure to react when he saw one of the robbers pass in front of the van. De Daulo earlier told the police that he was inside the van when his companions were robbed.
“How come he did not act?” Feliciano asked, saying the armored van’s driver could have easily rammed the robber because he was behind the wheel.
“The van was bulletproof so the robber could not shoot him,” the MPD official pointed out, adding that had De Daulo taken action, his companions could have easily handled the other robber.
The heist happened at the BPI branch on Remedios Street corner Taft Avenue at 2:22 a.m. on Monday. The group was about to reload the bank’s ATM when the heist occurred.
In an earlier interview, Dela Cruz said he was the first to alight from the armored van. He added that he scanned the area for two minutes before he gave Marollano, who was carrying the money in a bag, the go-signal to alight from the vehicle.
Marollano unlocked the bank doors but before they could enter to reload the ATM, a man appeared and held a gun to Dela Cruz’s nape.
Dela Cruz said he immediately surrendered his shotgun and 9-mm pistol because he did not want to die.
After the second robber grabbed the bag with the money from Marollano, he and his cohort fled in a white van.
Based on the armored van crew’s actions, “it is highly likely that they were the ones behind this and they’re in cahoots with one another. The police call it a ‘holdup-me’ scheme,” Feliciano said.
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