CAMP GEN. PANTALEON GARCIA, Cavite - Three members of the dreaded ''Martilyo Gang'' (Hammer Group) struck at a pawnshop in San Roque, Cavite City, before noon on Saturday, making off with a significant amount of jewelry pieces, police reported yesterday.
Police Officer 2 Jonathan R. Baclas, case investigator, said that the three armed men barged into the Saint Anthony Pawnhop on P. Burgos Avenue, Cavite City at 11:30 a.m.
Baclas said the daring holdup was timed with the lunch break of most of the pawnshop's employees.
As soon as they were in, the armed men crashed the glass view windows of the jewelry pieces using hammers.
As they were taking the loot, the holdup men fired gunshots in an apparent bid to scare off bystanders and onlookers in the vicinity.
Baclas quoted witnesses as saying that the gunmen fled with the loot on board a Honda Wave motorcycle and sped off in the direction of the Cavite City Public Market.
Probers lifted from the crime scene a hammer believed used by the gunmen; three bullet casings for a .45-caliber gun; two 45-caliber slugs; and a live bullet.
The group's modus operandi was similar to that of the four gunmen who struck at two jewelry shops inside SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City later in the day at past 7 p.m.
Meanwhile, two motorcycle-riding men robbed a hardware store in nearby Noveleta town and fled with an undetermined amount of cash and valuables barely one hour after the Cavite City incident, the Police Provincial Office (PPO) reported.
Investigators from the Noveleta Municipal Police Station also reported that two men, who posed as customers, robbed the One Click Hardware in Barangay Salcedo 1 at 12:36 p.m. on Saturday.
The group made off with cash and two cell phones amounting to a total of P100,000, said Police Officer 2 Rommel R. Taal.
After the armed robbery, the perpetrators fled on board two motorcycles.