Police nail Martilyo robbery gang leader, wife
First published: 5:02 p.m., May 11, 2017
Thanks to a tipster, police have arrested the leader of the notorious Martilyo Gang, which has been preying on jewelry stores in Metro Manila since 2011.
Director Oscar Albayalde, chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), and Chief Supt. Tomas Apolinario Jr., director of the Southern Police District (SPD), presented Sulayman Dimapuro, who also used the aliases Jomar, Bryan and Mislumen Utap, the leader of the Martilyo Gang or Utap Robbery Gang, while he was being booked for criminal charges on Thursday at the SPD headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig.
Senior Supt. Marion Balonglong, chief of the Las Piñas City Police Station said intelligence officers received a text message that a man known as Jomar was seen roaming on Saging and Strawberry Streets in Barangay CAA in Las Piñas around 5 p.m. Tuessday.
He said Jomar, who was actually Dimapuro, was looking for a certain Bobby who failed to remit drug money.
Members of the Las Piñas police then arrested the suspect.
Also arrested was Warda Alamada, who was accompanying her husband.
Recovered from Dimapuro were a .45-caliber Colt pistol with two magazines and 20 rounds of live ammunition, and two sachets of shabu.
The Martilyo Gang modus operandi involves one man bringing tools – hammers, crowbars, or steel pipes – to break the jewelry store windows. Another group, whose members are armed, would to cause panic in the area. And a third group would arrive at the shop to take away jewelry pieces.
Dimapuro’s group was tagged in the following robberies:
- Sisters Jewelries on Recto Avenue in Santa Cruz, Manila on Oct. 6, 2011
- F and C and The Jeweller stores at SM Megamall in Mandaluyong on Jan. 26, 2013
- Two jewelry stores in SM North in Quezon City on Dec. 15, 2013
- A jewelry store at the ground floor of Farmer’s Plaza in Cubao, Quezon City on Feb. 25, 2014
- SM Mall of Asia in Pasay on March 30, 2014
Apolinario said after their last operation in 2014, Dimapuro, who is a Level 2 high-value target, had shifted to drug peddling in Bacoor in Cavite and southern cities in Metro Manila.
Dimapuro and Alamada are facing charges of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and possession of illegal drugs due to Tuesday’s operation.
Robbery charges against them were being prepared by the police, as of Thursday.
The couple also have a pending warrant of arrest issued by Judge Matias Garcia II of Branch 109 of Bacoor Regional Trial Court for violation of Section 6 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, a non-bailable offense.
The court issued the warrant after reports that their house on Dalia Street, Villa Esperanza in Barangay Molino, Bacoor, Cavite, was being maintained as a drug den.
Of the total 18 members of Dimapuro’s robbery group, 11 were already arrested by police, while one was killed.
Six remaining members are still at large and being hunted down. /sfm/atm