The Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) said it has not monitored the presence of organized robbery groups in its jurisdictions but field commanders were told to be on their toes against possible hike in crimes against property.
Senior Superintendent Harold Tuzon, IPPO police director, said the upcoming school enrollment might tempt robbers to hit the town.
As such, “we have told our chiefs of police to monitor and thwart any possible robbery or theft plans,” he added.
Tuzon also issued a warning to lending and micro-finance collectors to be mindful of their personal safety.
“I hope they should still follow the log in, log out policy every time they collect dues from their customers,” he added.
For big collections, Tuzon said local policemen could accompany the collectors to do area security.
Tuzon’s warning came in the heels of a robbery hold-up incident on May 17, 2017 that preyed on a collector.
Gregorio Garcia, Jr., 54, employee of Bong & Alice Merchandize and Homeware at St. Joseph Subdivision, Barangay Cubay, Jaro, Iloilo City, claimed that a lone suspect robbed him 12:40 p.m. Wednesday at Barangay Imbesad-an, San Enrique towns.
Garcia, a resident of Bayan village, Passi City, told police investigators that he was driving his motorcycle when a lone man blocked his way.
The suspect, while poking a gun at him, then declared hold-up.
Garcia said he was forced to stop his vehicle since he had nowhere to go. The rough road is near a sugarcane plantation.
The suspect then took his collection money estimated at P20,000; a mobile phone, and his wallet containing P500 cash and other important documents.
The suspect fled using Garcia’s motorcycle.
The victim’s motorcycle – a Kawasaki Bajaj – was recovered in a nearby village by pursuing police officers.
Senior Inspector Norbert Sipole, San Enrique police chief, said they already have leads on the suspect.
“Somebody saw him when he abandoned the motorcycle,” he revealed.
But while the police was certain that somebody took Garcia’s money, they are not discounting the possibility of inside job.
“Everything is possible. We are entertaining all angles including the probable collusion of the victim to the suspect,” he said.
Sipole pointed out that the victim did not log at the police station, despite that other collectors do the same.
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