‘Termite gang’ carts away P7-M in cash, valuables in Bataan mall heist

BALANGA CITY, Bataan — A gang of robbers struck at a mall here between midnight Friday and dawn of Saturday, robbing three business establishments of cash and assorted items estimated to be more than PHP7 million.

The so-called “Termite gang” robbed the Camella office, All Shoppe department store and Core Pacific Money Changer in Vista Mall-Bataan.

“They entered into the canal then made diggings until they hit the stockroom of All Shoppe department store,” said Supt. Byron Allatog, Balanga City police chief, adding that the robbery was only discovered by employees Saturday morning.

He said that through the canal system, the suspects destroyed the pavement of the stockroom of All Homes Appliances.

Once they made their way inside, the robbers destroyed the wall of the Camella Homes office on the ground floor.

From Camella Homes’ office, the suspects took one laptop, think pad, 2 Samsung and a Nokia cellphones, Allatog said.

He said that from the stockroom, the robbers entered other areas of the Vista Mall-Bataan through the air-conditioning duct system, and got from the vault of All Shoppe cash worth more than PHP1.5 million.

“We were wondering because the robbers almost knew the duct system on where they were going — from the treasury then to department store. (It was) almost systematic,” Allatog said.

The treasury of the department store is on the second floor.

Upon leaving the department store, Allatog said the robbers took away some Timex watches and proceeded to Core Pacific Money Changer, also located on the second floor.

The suspects destroyed the locked door, drawer and took from the mini-vault of the money changer some PHP3.1 million cash; USD29,601; 60,000 Japan yen; 150 Australian dollars; 350 Hong Kong dollars; and 7,900 Saudi real.

“Total loot is more than PHP7 million,” the police chief said.

Allatog said based on CCTV footages, there were three men who entered the mall at about 12 midnight Friday and left at about 3 a.m. Saturday.

“They have specific targets — the treasury of the department store and the pawnshop/money changer,” the chief of police said. “They entered into the sewage system and they also exited there.”

He said first to be known as “Termite gang,” its members are said to former miners from the Cordillera.

“We coordinated with the intelligence community of the police in the Cordillera Region. In due time, we will have a lead. What the Balanga City police is doing is sharing information and coordination,” Allatog said. PNA-northboundasia.com