Police arrest retail theft syndicate Print
Wednesday, 02 May 2018 13:36

By DAN TORIBIO

Police launched hot pursuit operations last Monday and arrested the members of a crime syndicate who have stolen more than a million pesos in cash from several retail establishments in the city over the past months.

A police report said that authorities have arrested the syndicate members while the latter were aboard their getaway vehicle along Sta. Cruz,this city on Monday afternoon.

The suspects have just taken off from a retail establishment along JS Alano Street where they reportedly stole the store owner’s bag containing P40,000 in cash.

Prior to the incident, the gang entered the RTW (ready-to-wear) establishment and pretended to be customers while walking around the store.

Some of the syndicate members began a conversation with the store owner and her sales staff to divert their attention while the other suspects proceeded to take the store owner’s bag left unattended near the cashier’s booth.

The syndicate members then left the store together after successfully taking the loot.

Unknown to the suspects  the store owner, however, was able to write down the getaway vehicle’s description and license number which they reported immediately to authorities.

Police immediately launched pursuit operations and cornered the syndicate members’ vehicle, a Mitsubishi Adventure, within the vicinity of Sta. Cruz that same afternoon.

The suspects were identified as Delia Fernandez y Agacay, 34, of Pagadian City; Fern Gallamit y Mamac, 43, of General Santos City; Joven Gilbero y Gilla, 50, of Pagadian City; Evans Estacio y Gilbero, 22 of General Santos City; and the driver identified as Ricky Rojas y Absil, 44, of Sta. Catalina, Zamboanga City.

Investigation disclosed that the suspects have been involved in similar theft incidents in Zamboanga City in the past.

Last January, the gang members were able to rob a barter store owner of half a million pesos using the same modus operandi.

Two months later, the syndicate was also successful in taking a million pesos from a barter store owner in the city.

Police are still investigating to determine if the syndicate has victimized other establishments in the city.  (Dan Toribio)