‘Martilyo Gang’ struck before SM Megamall

MANILA: About eight hours before they robbed a jewellery shop inside a department store in Metro Manila’s Mandaluyong City, members of the dreaded ‘Martilyo Gang’ (Hammer Gang) carried out a brazen heist in another shop outside the metropolis.

Reports from Camp General Pantaleon Garcia, in Metro Manila’s nearby province of Cavite, said that three members of the gang made off with a significant amount of jewellery pieces from Saint Anthony Pawnshop, on P Burgos Avenue, Cavite City, after they barged into the shop at 11.30am on Saturday.

The case investigator, Police Officer 2 Jonathan Baclas, said that the daring daytime robbery was timed with the lunch break of most of the pawnshop’s employees.

He added that the unidentified men, who crashed the pawnshop’s glass-view windows for pieces of jewellery using hammers, fired gunshots in the air to scare off bystanders and passersby.

Police in Mandaluyong City, meanwhile, have yet to determine the amount of about 200 pieces of jewellery that the gang stole from FMC Jewellery shop on the ground floor of SM Megamall’s Building B later in the same day.

Police also said that there were six men involved in the megamall heist, not five as earlier reported.

Witnesses in the Cavite heist said the armed men fled with their loot on board a Honda Wave motorcycle. At the crime scene, investigators found a hammer, three bullet casings for a .45-calibre gun, two 45-calibre slugs, and a live bullet.

Police described the robbers as very professional, saying that they only took the pieces of jewellery and had not killed or injured anyone.