Robbery ‘lookout’ identified

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Friday, August 15, 2014

A FORMER military informant in Southern Mindanao was identified by police as one of the suspects in last Thursday's LBC heist on Escario St., Cebu City.

Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Director Noli Romana identified him as Leonardo Rama, 39, of Davao Region.

Rama reportedly acted as a lookout when the robbery group victimized a courier service company and carted away close to P10,000 cash.
"He led a small group of robbers here. Because he had training about surveillance and operations, he used this," Romana said.
Rama was identified through the accounts of bystanders who were on Escario St. when the heist took place.


The said bystanders were shown pictures of the suspect.

The police director said that Rama has been involved in several robberies, including one on La Nueva Pharmacy in Barangay Basak last December.

Rama is also said to be part of the group, which planned a robbery on a business establishment but was foiled in May last year.
A rented van containing high-powered firearms were later found by police.

Romana said that Rama serves as the local contact of groups from Mindanao, which plans to rob business establishments in Cebu.
"Siguro gutom na sila kaya (Maybe they are desperate because) they opted for a soft target, which is LBC that doesn't have security guards," the police director said.

Rama had been arrested by police in 2012 for illegal possession of firearms after a concerned citizen reported the presence of an armed person in Barangay Labangon.

Supt. Romeo Santander, CCPO's City Intelligence Branch chief, said they are not discounting possibility that Rama's group was also responsible in other the heists of LBC branches.

The LBC on Escario St. is the fifth branch to be robbed this year.

Following the robbery, Romana declared a heightened alert status in Cebu City yesterday leading to the weekend wherein a lot of people are expected to go out because of the payday.

CCPO will be increasing its police presence by deploying personnel in business establishments such as shopping malls.

They will be wearing civilian clothes to monitor unscrupulous individuals such as pickpockets. DSM

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 16, 2014.

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