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National

Megamall steps up security as dust settles on Saturday's daring robbery

InterAksyon.com
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines – As police turned to CCTV printouts to track suspects in the daring heist Saturday evening at a jewelry store, security has been stepped up at SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City.

More security guards were seen scattered in and outside the mall and long queues greeted mall-goers at the entrance as guards were more meticulous in their inspections, radio reports said.

Mandaluyong City’s police chief, Senior Superintendent Florendo Quibuyen, was quoted saying in radio reports that probers already have a copy of the printout from the CCTV cameras of the mall, showing the suspects, and copies of this were distributed to all police units in Metro Manila.

About 200 pieces of assorted jewelry made from “Saudi gold” were taken by about five members of the "Martilyo (Hammer) Gang" at the jewelry shop located inside the mall's department store. The value of the jewelry taken remained undetermined as of this posting.

The robbers struck past 7 p.m. Saturday, causing panic among mall-goers and triggering a brief lockdown at the mall. The robbers were able to escape in the ensuing mayhem.

"The perpetrators were indeed members of Martilyo Gang but we have yet to get their names and we are also coordinating with other districts who have recorded similar incidents committed by the same group," Quibuyen said.

Members of the Martilyo Gang also struck at SM Bicutan in November 2011. The suspects hurled a grenade at mall-goers, leaving six injured.

Quibuyen said mall guards should step up security inside the malls and be more thorough in inspections.

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