5th, 6th town halls burglarized; P420K stolen

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5th, 6th town halls burglarized; P420K stolen

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For the third time in three months, burglaries of town halls in the province were carried out in twos as the municipal treasuries of San Miguel and Sevilla were allegedly broken into on Sunday and Monday, respectively.

Some P420,000 in cash and check were declared missing from a vault inside the San Miguel treasurer’s office while burglars who hit the Sevilla treasury came out empty-handed, said police authorities.

According to Sr. Insp. Christopher Fernandez, chief of the San Miguel Police Station, the burglary in the town took place in the wee hours of Sunday between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m.

An employee of the municipal hall reported the incident to police at 2 p.m. on the same day after discovering that the vault inside the treasurer’s office was forcibly opened and emptied, said Fernandez.

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In Sevilla, police said that that the attempted town hall burglary transpired between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. on Monday as there were no roving cops during the period while the incident was reported a few hours after at 7 a.m.

SPO4 Florido Canales Gabito, Sevilla Police Station deputy chief, said that nothing was taken from the town’s treasurer’s office as employees did not leave money during the weekend.

The Sevilla police had already urged treasury employees to avoid leaving money in their office following four other municipal hall burglaries in the towns of Panglao, Balilihan, Anda and Loboc in the previous weeks, he added.

According to Gabito, two empty vaults of the treasurer’s office were forcibly opened while other valuable items such as a laptop were not carted away by the suspects.

Both police stations are currently conducting investigations on the most recent addition to the spate of town hall burglaries which started on January 23 at the treasurer’s offices of Anda and Balilihan.

The Anda treasurer’s office allegedly lost P300,000 in a burglary which reportedly took place at 2 a.m. while P97,000 was stolen from its Balilihan counterpart at around 4 a.m.

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On February 26 and 27, burglars allegedly stole P5,000 from the Loboc mayor’s office and P68,000 from the Panglao treasurer’s office, respectively.

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During the Provincial Peace and Order Council meeting in February, the province’s top police official Sr. Supt. Felipe Natividad said that the robberies of town halls in Balilihan, Anda, Panglao and Loboc may have been perpetrated by a single group.

Natividad pointed out similarities in the timing of the series of break-ins noting that the robberies of the town halls took place on or near the last Monday and Sunday of the month.

During the period, particularly first quarter of the year, local government units are also able to collect large amounts from payments of permits and licenses, added Natividad.

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However, the Bohol Provincial Police Office chief noted that investigations are still being conducted to verify the assessment.

In the same meeting, Natividad also urged local government units to install closed-circuit television cameras to deter burglars from breaking into their offices and to hasten the identification of suspects if they still commit the crime. (Allen Doydora)

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