3 suspects in Tisa daylight robbery in police custody

THREE suspects in the robbery of a head guard of Sarsalejo Security Agency in Barangay Tisa, Cebu City on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, are already in police custody. Yet, they all denied any involvement in the crime.

As for the man who took out his gun and shot at the two robbers that led to the death of former staff sergeant Jobie Antipolo, he remains unidentified.

Operatives of the Labangon Police Station arrested Mark Vergara, 28, a security guard of Sarsalejo Security Agency and a resident of Barangay Casili, Consolacion; Rico Acosta, 38, a resident of San Vicente, Liloan; and Pepe Acosta, 48, a resident of Maglasang, Consolacion.

Authorities first nabbed Vergara and Rico Acosta during a follow-up operation Wednesday dawn, Aug. 14, after witnesses and employees of the security agency identified them.

Later that night at 7 p.m., Pepe surrendered and handed P191,900 in cash to the police.

The amount was believed to be part of the P300,000 taken from Edwin Velos, while he was on board his motorcycle last Tuesday. Velos, who was shot in the back, remains in critical condition. The money was intended for the agency’s employees.

According to Police Major Henrix Bancoleta, Labangon Police Station chief, Vergara showed up at the office of the Sarsalejo Security Agency before the incident happened even though he was not supposed to be there during that time.

Police earlier said they suspected that the robbery was a case of an inside job.

Initial investigation revealed that Acosta was the one riding with Antipolo.

Pepe’s license was recovered from the utility box of the motorcycle driven by Antipolo. The victim also identified Pepe as one of the robbers.

“Velos also identified Pepe as the one who ran away using the victim’s motorcycle,” Bancoleta said.

Pepe, however, denied the allegation, saying he was in a gasoline station on V. Rama Ave. in Barangay Calamba, Cebu City at the time of the incident. He admitted, though, that he met with Antipolo, as the latter had asked to borrow his motorcycle.

Antipolo, he said, was with Vergara. And it was Vergara who returned and handed him a bag full of cash.

“I had no idea they would rob someone. They dropped me off at the gasoline station in Calamba and told me to wait. Antipolo said they were going to pick up a fighting rooster. Then Vergara returned on a different motorcycle alone. He then gave me a bag. When I checked inside, it contained money. I’ve been trying to come up with ways to return it,” Pepe said in Cebuano.

Vergara said he was in school when the robbery took place. He is a criminology student in a local university. He said he went to the security agency’s office to claim his salary. He said he immediately went to school after that.

“I don’t understand why they’re insisting that I had a hand in the crime,” Vergara said in Cebuano.

He admitted knowing Pepe and the latter’s cousin Rico as they were neighbors in Barili, Cebu. (WBS)