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3 suspects in QC auto shop robbery nabbed, thanks to alert cabbie.

The Quezon City police arrested on Tuesday three suspects in an auto shop robbery that left its owner and an employee wounded on Jan. 21.

Investigators were able to track down the suspects thanks to the cab driver they hailed when they committed the crime.

Supt. Guillermo Eleazar, chief of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD), on Wednesday said the suspects, who were apprehended in multiple follow-up operations, robbed Nilo Aclan of P320,000 and shot him on the face.

A string of operations in Quezon City and Antipolo led to the capture of the suspects, identified as Edgardo Dote (alias 'Gary Bonifacio' or 'Batman'), 44; Melvin Cantillana, 48, a Grab driver; and Richard Gonzales (alias 'Pinsan'), 35, an auto mechanic.

Another suspect, known only as Willy, remained at large.

The QCPD chief said it was Gonzales, Dote's cousin and a mechanic for an auto shop beside Aclan's shop, who tipped off his alleged cohorts upon discovering that Aclan was carrying a huge sum of money on Sunday morning, January 21.

Dote and alias 'Willy' boarded a taxi at 7:50 a.m. at the corner of Santa Catalina and Banawe Streets and and ordered the driver to take them to Aclan's shop on Kaliraya Street in Barangay Dona Josefa, according to Eleazar.

'Upon arrival, with alias 'Willy' as the lookout in the taxi, Dote ordered Aclan at gunpoint to take off his short pants where the Php320,000 cash was,' Eleazar said in a statement.

When Aclan refused, Dote shot him twice, wounding him in the face and shoulder.

Aclan's employee, Victor Cumahig, was also shot in the back when he tried to intervene.

After forcibly taking off the victim's shorts, Dote rejoined Willy in the cab.

Dote and Willy then ordered the taxi driver to drive them to Cordillera Street in Barangay Don Manuel where Cantillana was waiting for them in his getaway Mitsubishi Lancer with plate number ABQ-5423.

But instead of leaving immediately, the taxi driver - who heard the gunshots coming from Aclan's shop and sensed something wrong from his passengers' conversation - took note of the getaway car as the suspects transferred.

The driver later provided descriptions of the getaway vehicle when he reported what he heard to the QCPD.

With the help of security camera videos obtained by the police, the car was later traced to Ezekiel Fernando, who told investigators that it was being used at the time by Cantillana, his Grab driver.

Cantillana was arrested in Antipolo City after a follow-up operation on Tuesday at 1:00 p.m., Eleazar said. A bladed weapon and a .45-caliber magazine loaded with ammunition were seized.

He then identified Dote as the gunman in the auto shop robbery.

Dote was then arrested at 5:30 p.m. in Barangay Batasan Hills in Quezon City after Cantillana told the police of his whereabouts.

Dote was found keeping a .45-caliber pistol, two hand grenades and several bullets. Police also seized a Toyota Vios from Dote.

Dote later implicated Gonzales, who was arrested at the shop located near the crime scene.

A knife and five rounds of ammunition for a .45-caliber pistol were confiscated from him.

As of this posting, Willy was still at large and the money stolen from Aclan had not been recovered.

The QCPD chief said complaints were filed against the suspects for robbery and two counts of frustrated homicide, as well as for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition. /je /atm
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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Jan 24, 2018
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