by Perseus Echeminada
Manila, Philippines – Five men were arrested in the tunnel they dug to gain access to a pawnshop in Las Piñas City before dawn yesterday.
Senior Superintendent Romulo Sapitula, Las Piñas police chief, identified the suspects as Jim Bautista, 20; Aldo Malama, 28; Jun Wrangler, 24; Jack Jasanta, 27; and Arnel Tamang, 26. All of them are from Ilocos Sur except for Wrangler, who is from Pangasinan.
According to initial reports, the suspects tunneled into the DM Garcia pawnshop but were not able to break open the vault because they did not have an acetylene torch. They took the pawnshop’s wall clock, calculators and P15,000 left in a drawer.
Police officers from Las Piñas and the Southern Police District, acting on a tip, were waiting for the suspects as they emerged from the tunnel with their loot at around 5:30 a.m.
Sapitula said the suspects are believed to be responsible for the rash of pawnshop burglaries in Metro Manila.