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PNP on alert after mall heist

PNP Chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome has taken to task all Police Regional and District Directors to personally supervise ongoing police campaigns and operations in their areas of responsibility to prevent any similar occurrence of Thursday’s bloody robbery at a busy shopping mall in Quezon City.

Bartolome particularly instructed the police commanders to closely supervise implementation of the Patrulya ng Pulis program thru the Police Integrated Patrol System (PIPS) strategy and the Oplan Summer Vacation (SUMVAC) 2012 security and public safety campaign.

“This summer holiday season, we will be on our toes to implement a nationwide security and public safety plan from March to June, but at the same time, we are also waging a summer offensive against streetcrime particularly highly-mobile motorized criminal elements, thus, I expect the Regional and District Directors to take the lead in this campaign,” Bartolome said. “While the PNP recorded a steady decline of crime incidents these past years, crime prevention should take center focus of the government’s anti-crime program, adding that inputs from stakeholders are welcome,” he added.

He noted that the gunmen who staged the robbery at the Robinson’s Galleria on Thursday escaped on board two motorcycles after shooting dead a bank security guard and wounding several others by detonating a grenade into a crowd.

Bartolome was at the scene of the robbery incident on Thursday afternoon to personally assess the ongoing investigation by the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) headed by QCPD Director, Chief Supt Mario Dela Vega, who showed him video footages taken from the mall’s CCTV surveillance system.

Dela Vega told the Chief PNP that computer-generated composite sketches of the suspects are expected to be completed within Friday to assist police tracker teams in establishing the identities of the suspects.

Bartolome instructed members of the SITG to compare the “signatures” of the Galleria gunmen with previous incidents of similar modus operandi.

“By way of signature comparison, perhaps our investigators will be able to uncover leads that will hasten solution of this case,” Bartolome said.

This developed as the Chief PNP instructed the Civil Security Group to reinforce supervisory functions over private security agencies and company guard forces by holding periodic security inspections and more frequent refresher training sessions for security guards.

Investigators noted that the gunmen were able to enter the mall with guns and grenades that they used in staging the heist.