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Tarlac cops foil P24-M New Year's eve mall heist

Hydraulic jacks were used to force the walls to bulge in order to open doors. PHOTO BY DAX SIMBOL, INTERAKSYON.COM
The online news portal of TV5

CAMILING, Tarlac - Noise from the New Year's revelry was not enough to provide cover for four robbers using heavy-duty tools who broke through a room housing vaults where mall sales are kept.

Joel Saiyan, Howard Bawingan and Sherwin Bayawei, all residents of Baguio City, were caught red-handed by elements of the Camiling Police Station as they tried to make off with an estimated P24 million, according to authorities.

Camiling police chief Rustico Raposas said they received a call from the mall's security guards at around midnight, flagging the unusual sounds coming from the third floor of the building where the vaults were located. An assault team, assisted by the mall guards, was sent to apprehend the culprits. Three readily surrendered but the fourth one escaped. 

"These persons may be part of a larger syndicate because they were very prepared. We are also coordinating with police authorities in Baguio City who may have past records and other connections. Raposas said.

The robbers entered through a ground floor ceiling outside the mall, jacked the second floor wall with powerful hydraulic jacks and used heavy-duty pry bars for the vaults on the third floor. 

Police authorities are also pursuing a certain "Ashley" whom the robbers were constantly contacted through mobile phone.