3 Baguio miners arrested in Ilocos Sur pawnshop heist

CAMP FLORENDO, La Union – Three alleged members of the Acetylene Gang of Baguio City were caught while in the act of robbing the Tambunting
Pawnshop in Barangay Bannuar, San Juan, Ilocos Sur in the early hours yesterday.

Senior Superintendent Jovencio Badua, Jr, Ilocos Sur police director, identified the suspects as Nickson Binaliw, 27; Fred Toldican, 31; and Ronald Allan Rivera, Jr, all residents of Mines View Park in Baguio City. The three identified themselves as mine workers in Benguet.

Badua said the suspects were arrested by San Juan policemen who responded to the call of a concerned resident who informed them that suspicious men were destroying the concrete wall of the pawnshop.

Two of the suspects were caught outside the building of the pawnshop. Another robber was caught inside the pawnshop, but it was not known whether he succeeded in unlocking the money vault or or drawers where pawned items are kept.

Badua said the apprehended robbers had nine other companions but were able to elude arrest.

Policemen recovered from the area a steel saw, hydraulic jack; and a Toyota Hi Ace van registered under the name of a certain Ruben Ronquillo and Nena Ronquillo of Poguis, La Trinidad, Benguet.

It was learned that the pawnshop has no security guard and no close circuit television camera.

Police are now looking into other previous robbery incidents of banks and pawnshops in the Ilocos Region  because members of the Acetylene Gang usually use tools like a steel saw or dig tunnels to get inside the building or shop they plan to rob.

Badua said the suspects were detained at the San Juan municipal jail while proper charges against them will be filed in court. The van used by the suspect is also impounded at the police station. Jun Elias/NPN-northboundasia.com