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Bombay Bazaar in Tagbilaran Almost Robbed
« on: July 13, 2007, 04:23:45 AM »
By Kit Bagaipo
The Bohol Chronicle

A quick response of joint police operatives of the Bohol Police Provincial Office and the City PNP cornered four of five armed men who were about to rob Bombay Bazaar night of July 9, 2007 in Tagbilaran City.

The suspects, alleged members of a group responsible for robberies in the towns of Bilar and Dimiao, have been the subject of surveillance operations following a tip received by the PNP of their plans to stage a series of robberies during the Sandugo festivities.

The four suspects pinned down by police were identified as Maximo Yecyec y Sahulga, 24, married and resident of barangay Cabanbanan, Dimiao town; Meddie Paigalan y Maestre, 36, married and resident of barangay Yanaya, Bilar town; Alberto Doria, 34, single and resident of barangay Riverside, Bilar town; and Joseph Cruta y Garan, 23, single and resident of barangay Owac, Bilar town.
          
Doria, previously convicted of murder, was among five inmates who bolted the Bohol Detention and Rehabilitation Center (BDRC) back in 2000.

Seized from the suspects was a fragmentation grenade, a calibre .45 revolver and a .38 caliber revolver all with live ammunitions.

According to PNP provincial director SSupt. Edgardo Ingking, the group planned to hit Bombay Bazaar right during its closing hours.

Two of the five suspects would allegedly go to the manager, when the last of the store's roll-up doors is about to be closed. One suspect is reportedly assigned to neutralize the store's lone security guard and the other two suspects would serve as lookouts.

Ingking said, that earlier in the day, the police operatives were already observing the five suspects right after they arrived at the Integrated Bus Terminal in Dao.

Since Monday morning police have confirmed the plan of the robbers and even identified their regrouping area after the operation near the bus terminal, Ingking said.

"Police operatives just had to wait until the time they would carry out their intention," according to Ingking. In fact, he said, their surveillance teams reported that the suspects surveyed their target (Bombay Bazaar) about two hours before the actual robbery.

Police did not wait for the suspects to carry out the robbery at Bombay Bazaar considering the risk to its owner and personnel since they already received information that one suspect was carrying a grenade.

One of the suspects, however, eluded arrest.

Right after the arrest of the four suspects, police also conducted a raid in Carmen town and was able to arrest one Leo Remorosa.

According to Ingking, Remorosa is "a recognized godfather of robbers in the province."
The arrest was undertaken by virtue of a search warrant issued by Regional Trial Court (RTC) Executive Judge Fernando Fuentes III.

Remorosa was found in possession of a hand grenade, which was included as object of the warrant. He is reportedly supplying firearms to robbers here in the province, according to Ingking.

NOT AN ORGANIZED ROBBERY GROUP


Ingking said it is possible that the four suspects in custody do not belong to an organized robbery group.

However, the provincial police chief said there are certain groups in other towns which could be working with the suspects, but could not yet establish their link.

The police chief said the success of arresting the four suspects is part of the PNP's intensified intelligence against the rising trend of robbery cases in the province.

SUSPECT DENIES LINK IN OTHER ROBBERIES

Interviewed over dyRD, one of the arrested suspects, Doria, an escapee of the BDRC back in 2000 together with 4 others, denies any involvement to a robbery group.

He claimed he just came back to his hometown from Manila working as bus conductor a few months ago and knew the other 4 suspects in the past few days.

Doria admitted that Bombay Bazaar was their target and the operation was planned only a few days ago.

He said their weapons were obtained in Bilar by one of their cohorts, Maximo Yecyec.

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