QCPD confirms robbery-holdup of Katipunan convenience store

Franco Luna - Philstar.com
QCPD confirms robbery-holdup of Katipunan convenience store
Screengrab shows alleged CCTV footage of the incident that has since circulated on social media.
Philstar.com Screengrab

MANILA, Philippines — One suspect still remains at large after his accomplice in the attempted robbery of a convenience store in Brgy. Loyola Heights was brought in by police, the Quezon City Police District disclosed Thursday. 

According to a QCPD spot report sent to Philstar.com, two armed and hooded male figures wearing helmets entered a 7-Eleven convenience store along Esteban Abada St. at around 11:15 p.m. on Saturday, January 30, posing as customers supposedly making a phone transaction on G-Cash. 

After making the transaction to the "fictitious account", the two approached the cashier and "declared the heist," and directed the store's crew to "cash in the G-Cash" at gunpoint, also taking the crew members' cellphones with them.  

It just so happened, the report said, that another customer in the store, one Joseph Manzano, was a member of the Philippine Navy Reserve who was armed at the time.

"Manzano approached the suspects and at gunpoint uttered, 'Dumapa ka, babarilin kita,'" QCPD's report read. A shootout ensued, prompting the two to flee the area on a motorcycle, but not before one was hit in the stomach.

The day after, QCPD said, "personnel coordinated [with] nearby hospitals and adjacent cities and asked if there was any reported wounded person involved in a shooting incident in their jurisdiction." 

Officers at the Southern Police District "made coordination" in response to the reports and tracked down the suspect, one Larvi Santos, 25, by his G-Cash number linked to a Facebook account. 

Santos, a hauling and truck service agent living in Taguig, was arrested on the afternoon of Monday, February 1, in Parañaque City. 

He was later identified as the suspect by Manzano and made to undergo a paraffin examination for gunshot residue, the results of which have not yet been submitted, QCPD said.

Cases of robbery with attempted homicide and two counts of grave threat have been submitted for an inquest before the office of Assistant City Prosecutor Charisma Manauis. 

The other suspect in the case remains at large.

In a phone call with Philstar.com, Police Lt. Col. Imelda Reyes, Anonas Police Station commander, said that a separate holdup attempt was made at another convenience store, a Mini-Stop branch, in Brgy. Loyola Heights, though the attempt was unsuccessful and was never reported to police. 

Asked about adjustments the station is making moving forward, Reyes said in Filipino: "We're conducting checkpoints in the barangay every now and then and we have motorcycles going around. There are also police on duty in the barangay, and we're advising convenience stores to station security guards."

"For our part, we're doing our part so the community feels our presence. We are still looking for the other suspect," she also said. 

Reyes added that the convenience store did not have a security guard at the time of the robbery.

However, she said, it took place adjacent to a police checkpoint, which allowed cops to respond quickly. 

"For safety, residents should be alert about their surroundings. That should start in their homes; if they notice something different in the area, they can tell their barangay or police station right away. Since we're in a pandemic, residents should also try not to go out at night for leisure, especially if it is not an emergency," she also said. 

Brgy. Loyola Heights for its part also said in a text message sent to residents: "The barangay has been focusing on this case, since January 30 when the incident took place. We will provide full updates, we have just completed the follow-up operations conducted by the Anonas Police Station, before the barangay gives a statement."

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