4 ‘Martilyo Gang’ members tagged in Bacolod jewelry heist

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At least four Negros-based members of the Martilyo Gang have been tagged in the P4.5-million robbery inside Gaisano City Grand Mall in Barangay Singcang-Airport in Bacolod City last Aug. 7.

Negros Occidental police provincial director Police Col. Romeo Baleros said the four are members of an organized crime group that became the contact of the Luzon-based Martilyo Gang.

Baleros said they already have photos of all the suspects in the jewelry heist, but did not show these to media as they are still conducting intelligence monitoring (

Earlier, Bacolod City police said they are validating reports about the alleged presence there of an armed robbery group from Ozamis City.

The group would usually cross over in some parts of Visayas like Bacolod, Iloilo, and Cebu, and in other areas in Mindanao, Baleros said.

Baleros said he was able to arrest 18 out of 32 members of “Martilyo Gang” when he was with the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), but the gang would recruit new members.

Meanwhile, Baleros said they are also checking the link of the said group to the suspects who also robbed a jewelry store, bank, and other establishments in Luzon previously.

He also directed all police chiefs to closely monitor ports and other entry and exit points in the province.

He also urged them to coordinate with the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and port staff for reporting of any suspicious individuals and activities in their respective areas.