'Martilyo Gang' responsible for Megamall heist: police

Posted at 01/27/2013 3:40 PM | Updated as of 01/27/2013 10:59 PM

MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE 1) Members of the "Martilyo Gang" were responsible for the heist in a jewelry store inside the SM Megamall on Saturday night that caused panic among shoppers, police said.

"Our information gathered (show) that these perpetrators were indeed members of the 'Martilyo Gang,' pero hindi pa kami makakuha ng kumpletong pangalan nila," said Mandaluyong Police officer-in-charge S/Supt. Florendo Quibuyen in an interview with ANC on Sunday.

Quibuyen said the Mandaluyong police are still working with other police districts who have information on the "Martilyo Gang."

Meanwhile, the mall has provided police with a printout of the security footage of the incident.

"We have already secured the printout given by SM Megamall, and we already distributed this to all operating units of the NCRPO," Quibayen said.

Quibayen said the robbers used the same modus operandi used by the "Martilyo Gang" in their previous heists.

"There were previous cases, there were previous incidents perpetrated by these members, like the incident in Divisoria wherein five or six suspects were apprehended by Manila police," he said.

There were at least four to five suspects who robbed the F and C Jewelry Store located at the ground floor of the mall’s Building B at around 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.

The suspects were wearing white shirts and jeans and used a pipe wrench to break the glass jewelry case. The pipe wrench was allegedly bought in a hardware store inside the mall.

The robbers fired two shots to trigger panic among the shoppers, allowing them to blend in and escape. Two slugs from a .45 caliber gun were recovered at the scene.

Security around and inside SM Megamall has been tightened in the wake of the heist.

DZMM's Dexter Ganibe reported that SM Megamall authorities have deployed security guards in the streets surrounding the mall, while the security guards were more thorough in checking the bags of the shoppers. -- Reports from DZMM, ANC.