Armed group strikes anew in Oro

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

WITH the spate of unsolved robberies inside various establishments in Cagayan de Oro City, a group of armed men struck again on Monday, adding to the list of incidents that are already piling up.

This time, robbers barged into a factory outlet of Virginia Food Incorporated located at Oro Ace building in J.R. Borja and Pres. Quirino streets around 9:15 a.m. Monday, said Senior Police Officer 1 Nelson Escobido, investigator at Cogon police station.

Escobido said three unidentified males, all armed with .45 caliber pistols, got away with P19,000 in sales from the company’s employees.


He said the suspects posed as customers when they entered the outlet.

The suspects then whipped out their firearms and ordered all the 10 persons inside the office to lie face down on the floor, he added.

The perpetrators then took the employees’ laptops, cellphones and cash.

One of the suspects even slapped a worker on her arm when she threw a bag containing thousands in cash into an unreachable corner of the office.

Escobido said the robbers were not able to retrieve the bag.

A female employee, who came in late, was not aware of the robbery when she entered the office.

Escobido said one of the armed men even greeted the female worker “good morning, ma’am” and then told her of the robbery.

Shocked, the employee, who was told that the suspects were there to rob them of their money and gadgets, could only mutter to the armed group to take her cash, but to return the wallet and spare her some lunch money.

One of the perpetrators took the cash from her wallet but gave her back a P1,000 bill for her lunch, the investigator said.

After the robbery, the suspects then fled on board a motorcycle.

A closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera, installed outside the office’s door, could only produce blurry footages of the suspects as they went in and out of the establishment, Escobido said.

Workers at Rhean Cyclemart, located beside the Virginia Food office, told police they did not notice the robbery taking place.

But a female worker of a bakeshop, also located beside the outlet, said that although they did not see what was going on inside the robbed place, a friend of theirs did.

The bakeshop employee, who refused to give out her name, said their friend, a son of their church’s pastor, happened to pass by and saw people lying on the floor through the establishment’s glass door.

It was only when the robbers fled that the pastor's son realized that the employees of Virginia Food were being robbed. Then, he went back to their house and called up the police, the bakeshop employee said.

At presstime Monday, the Theft and Robbery Section (TRS) of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) is tasked to track down the suspects.

Meanwhile, the management at Sparks Auto Supply at Ramon Chavez Street went to the Cogon police and reported that their office was ransacked by still unidentified suspects.

Taken from the establishment was cash amounting to P16,000 from two separate drawers.

Police Officer 1 Joel Gacosta, investigator at Cogon police, said the store was broken in Sunday night.

Gacosta said the storekeepers discovered the inside of Sparks in disarray when they opened shop Monday morning.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on April 08, 2014.

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