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Ozamis gang eyed behind Bacolod jewelry heist

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Is the Ozamis Gang behind the P4.5-million robbery of two jewelry stores inside Gaisano City Grand Mall in Bacolod City earlier this week?

Police are not discounting the possibility after getting initial identification on some of the suspects, city police chief Police Col. Henry Biñas said.

Biñas said there is a possibility that the group used contacts in Bacolod City to plot the robbery.

“We are still checking their links with the group which also robbed a jewelry shop in Laguna last month,” he added.

Also, Biñas said the robbers exploited the ongoing feud within the Yanson family, owner of Ceres Liner, as most policemen were deployed to Ceres bus terminals since Tuesday afternoon.

“The criminals exploited the situation,” he said.

Last Aug. 7, nine unidentified men with high-powered firearms and pistols barged into the mall and threatened the two security guards posted at the entrance.

Using hammers and axes, they then smashed the glass display shelves of F&C Pawnshop and Jewelry and Haoling Jewelry Store located at the mall’s ground floor.

The robbers fled aboard two motorcycles and a car. No injuries were reported.

In March 2013, an F&C Pawnshop and Jewelry Store branch on Gonzaga Street in Bacolod City was also robbed with P1 million worth of jewelries by suspected members of Acetylene Gang and Ozamiz Group.

Biñas said they have strengthened their intelligence monitoring and adjusted the deployment of policemen.

He also directed all 10 station commanders to be alert and intensify police visibility patrol.

Biñas also met the business community and Councilor Al Victor Espino, chairman of the Committee on Police Matters, and Peace and Order of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) for a consultative meeting.

Biñas said he has consistently asked the business community to install high-end closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras to aid the police force in their anti-criminality campaign.