Nailed: ‘Martilyo gang chief’ falls after 7 heists
Acting on a tip, authorities caught the alleged leader of the notorious Martilyo Gang, which the police had linked to at least seven jewelry store robberies in Metro Manila.
The National Capital Region Police Office chief, Director Oscar Albayalde on Thursday presented Sulayman Dimapuro, also known as Jomar, Bryan and Mislumen Utap, was arrested Tuesday night in Barangay CAA, Las Piñas City.
The Las Piñas police found Dimapuro after receiving information that a man known as Jomar was spotted on Saging and Strawberry Streets. Senior Supt. Marion Balonglong, the city police chief, said the suspect was then looking for a man called Bobby who had failed to remit drug money.
Dimapuro’s wife, Warda Almada, was also arrested while the robbery gang leader yielded a .45-caliber Colt pistol with two magazine clips and 20 rounds of ammunition. The police said Dimapuro was also carrying two sachets of “shabu.”
The gang’s modus operandi involved buying hammers (martilyo) and other tools at a hardware store located within a mall. They would then go to the targeted jewelry store, using the tools to smash the display cases open. The gang would then merge with the mall crowd to avoid arrest, at times firing a gun to cause a panic.
According to the police, Dimapuro’s group robbed the following establishments:
Sisters Jewelries on C. M. Recto Avenue in Sta. Cruz, Manila, on Oct. 6, 2011
Jewelry stores F and C and The Jeweller at SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City, on Jan. 26, 2013
Two jewelry stores at SM North, Quezon City, on Dec. 15, 2013
A jewelry store at the ground floor of Farmers Plaza in Cubao, Quezon City, on Feb. 25, 2014, and
A jewelry store at SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City, on March 30, 2014.
Chief Supt. Tomas Apolonario Jr., Southern Police District director, said that after the group pulled off its last robbery in 2014, Dimapuro switched to drug pushing, operating mainly in southern Metro cities and Bacoor, Cavite.
The arrested couple face charges for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, drug possession and robbery.
Prior to their capture, an arrest warrant was issued against them by Judge Matias Garcia II of Bacoor Regional Trial Court-Branch 109, where they face charges for allegedly using their house in Villa Esperanza, Barangay Molino, Bacoor, as a drug den.
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