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Riding in tandem robbers killed

MANILA — A rising number of crimes have been committed by suspects riding in tandem aboard motorcycles.

The latest incident included two robbers who grabbed the bags of women shoppers near the Tutuban Mall in the Divisoria shopping district in pre-dawn last November 18.

Police in plainclothes pursued the suspects and intercepted them along Narra Street in Tondo. The robbers engaged the police in gunfight but later perished from gunshot wounds. Recovered from the suspects were a 9-mm pistol and a cal-.22 revolver.

A GMA report said one of the suspects was wearing slippers, short denim pants and red shirt. The report said the second suspect was wearing a green shirt. Nighttime markets have been operating in the shopping district especially as the Christmas season draws near.

The common crimes of those riding-in-tandems are usually robberies and shootings. The police have been conducting checkpoints in many areas in the metropolis against these criminals. They have also conducted spot checks on motorists to know who have committed violations and who have spurious documentation.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo earlier ordered the PNP to intensify the campaign against criminals riding in tandem on motorcycles.

Robredo issued the order following the release of statistics showing a seven percent increase in crimes committed by riding-in-tandem suspects with 1,700 incidents in the first nine months this year from only 1,565 cases during the same period in 2010.

Robredo ordered PNP chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome to submit an assessment report including measures the PNP intends to implement with the corresponding operational requirements and logistical support.

Bartolome has said the PNP has been adopting measures such as the Police Integrated Patrol System (PIPS) and the deployment of motorcycle riding police officers, known as Motorized Anti-Street Crime Operatives (MASCO).

Under the PIPS, policemen will conduct more foot patrols, checkpoints and public assistance.

Meanwhile, MASCO requires police to undergo basic tactical rider’s course aimed at preventing crimes perpetrated by motorcycle riding criminals.

It also requires more policemen, including elements of the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT), to conduct operations in all vital installations like the Light Rail Transit (LRT), Metro Rail Transit (MRT), malls, banks, and government offices.