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Highway Robbers in Bohol Arrested
« on: December 10, 2007, 11:32:23 PM »
By Kit Bagaipo
The Bohol Chronicle

Two groups of five highway robbers were arrested in separate hot pursuit operations conducted by police.

The two groups, which owned up to 27 cases of cellphone snatchings and highway robberies had just victimized three women when they were cornered by police.

One of the victims, identified as one Christine Escobilla, 28, resident of Taloto District, this city, was plying Penaflor Street on board her motorcycle on the way home at around 9:50 p.m. last Saturday when all of a sudden two unidentified armed men riding a Honda motorcycle overtook her and grabbed her handbag.

In an effort to recover the bag which contained a Nokia 6610 cellular phone and P2,000, the victim chased the suspects until she sough the assistance of Taloto barangay tanods.

The chase ended at the vicinity of Dumadag Farm where the suspects were last spotted.

With the help of responding residents and barangay tanods, one of the suspect was arrested and identified as Rogelio Macalaging, 27, single and native of Alubihid, Misamis Oriental but was residing at Bingag, Dauis.

He was later identified to be the driver of the motorcycle. Further interrogation led to the arrest of the other suspect, Joseph Villaester, 26, resident of barangay Totolan, Dauis.

Recovered from the suspects was the handbag containing the cash and cellular phone.

According to police, the suspects, both ex-convicts, admitted to have perpetrated no less than 14 snatching cases in Tagbilaran City.

Confiscated from the two suspects was a 357 magnum revolver with 6 live ammunitions.

In Garcia-Hernandez, police also nabbed three highway robbers who victimized two ladies who were forcibly divested of their cell phones and personal valuables in barangay East Ubujan of said town.

The lady victims, identified as Ma. Betsy Galacio and Ma. Rowena Galindo were relaxing along the highway past 8 p.m. Wednesday when motorcycle riding men alighted and poked their handguns to them and started divesting them of their cell phones and valuables.

The suspects fled aboard their motorcycle.

With the assistance of one of the victims' brother, the Garcia-Hernandez PNP led by SInsp. George Cana, immediately responded by conducting a checkpoint infront of the municipal hall.

Minutes later the suspects showed up and were arrested by police. Recovered from the suspects were the victims' three cellular phones, a Sony i-Pod and a ladies wristwatch.

The suspects were identified as Charlie Caberte y Balili, Rudolfo Ombrosa y Caberte and Jessie Alfar y Cubrado, all residents of Poblacion, Pilar town.

The suspects were armed with a Colt 357 Smith and Wesson revolver with 3 live ammunitions and a caliber .38 revolver with 1 live ammunition.

The motorcycle, with license plate IL-1082 was later traced to its owner one Pepe Cubrado of Poblacion, Pilar.

MODUS OPERANDI

The 2 suspects arrested in Taloto admitted to have perpetrated 14 other snatching cases in the city victimizing mostly sweethearts in secluded and dark places.

According to the suspects, before snatching valuables from their would be victims, they hire motorcycles from motorcycle for hire shops here and later try to spot persons along the highway using their cell phones.

They would pass by their target and later come back already poking their firearm while immediately divesting the victim's valuables.

The hold-up takes just a few seconds as the suspects speed away from the crime scene using their rented motorcycle.

TANODS CITED

Other cohorts of the five suspects were likewise identified during an interrogation conducted by police.

Provincial police director SSupt. Edgardo Ingking attributed the success of the two operations to the immediate assistance of residents and barangay tanods given to police.

Ingking attributed the community response to the PNP's Oplan Sumpo Krimen launched a few months ago to address criminality in the province.

The provincial police chief said he will give citations to the Taloto barangay tanods for their accomplishment that led to the arrest of two suspects.

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