MANILA, Philippines -- It only took the robbers two minutes to filch more than 150 pieces of jewelry at a shop in SM Megamall on Saturday night.
Mandaluyong Police officer-in-charge Senior Superintendent Florendo Quibuyen said the robbers, supposedly members of the notorious “Martilyo Gang,” studied the mall’s layout closely, allowing them to do the crime in just two minutes.
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.
Among those taken are: 71 pieces “Saudi” gold necklace, 52 pendants, four pieces of men’s rings, ten pieces of gold rings, 21sets of earrings, and another 17 pieces of gold chains.
The suspects, caught on CCTV to be wearing white shirts and jeans, supposedly 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.
In 2011, at least three shooting incidents happened in SM malls.
In July that year, a security guard was killed in a shootout with a Games and Amusement Board employee inside the restroom of SM Delgado Mall in Iloilo City.
Two months after, a woman shot and killed her husband, a sales clerk in SM North Edsa, who allegedly left her for another woman. The security guard who tried to stop the woman from committing suicide was also shot and killed.
That same month, a 13-year-old boy killed his alleged lover and then shot himself in the head.
The management of SM Megamall said security has already been tightened. They also asked the public for understanding.