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Police: 'Martilyo Gang' used wrenches, changed modus

Camille Diola - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The robbery group known as the "Martilyo Gang" abandoned their signature tools when they attacked a jewelry store in Mall of Asia on Sunday night, police said.

"Hindi sila gumamit ng martilyo, ang ginamit nila isang pipe wrench," Sr. Supt. Florencio Ortilla, chief of Pasay City Police, said in an interview with dzMM on Monday.

The police chief said that the hand tools used to break glass cases in F and C Jewelry were recovered. Unlike the group's previous modus operandi, however, the tools were not bought inside the mall.

Also read: Stores lockdown as 'Martilyo Gang' hits SM MOA

"Mayroon na po tayong lead kung saan nila binili itong pipe wrenches na 'to," Ortilla added, referring to a hardware store near the mall where the robbers allegedly purchased the tools.

SM malls have prohibited the sale of hammers since Martilyo Gang's attack at Megamall in Mandaluyong City in 2013.

Ortilla said 10 members of the robbery gang entered the mall separately. Three to four of them allegedly brought firearms and pipe wrenches, and passed through exit doors, as seen in closed circuit television footage.

Ryan Bansawan, an alleged gang member, was arrested after being cornered by police inside a restaurant. The mall's stores and dining places locked down following the 7:15 p.m. attack accompanied by a gunshot, which injured a store clerk.

"Siya lang ang nahuli mula sa walo hanggang 10 suspek na nanloob sa ating department store, sa jewelry store," Ortilla said.

A caliber .45 hand gun and a bag containing clothes were confiscated from the suspect.

Bansawan is scheduled to undergo inquest proceedings Monday.

Steven Tan, senior vice president for mall operations, had said that normal operations of the mall have resumed around 9:30 p.m. on Sunday night.

"When the Martilyo Gang incident happened the response of the PNP was quick and they were able to apprehend a suspect who is now under their custody," Tan said in a statement.

F AND C JEWELRY FLORENCIO ORTILLA GANG MALL MALL OF ASIA MANDALUYONG CITY MARTILYO GANG ORTILLA PASAY CITY POLICE RYAN BANSAWAN
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