MANILA, Philippines — Thieves took advantage of the long Holy Week break to burglarize a GMA Network talent’s unattended home and two shops, including a money remittance center and a beauty products store, of close to P800,000 of cash and valuables in Quezon City.
The burglaries were only discovered on Black Saturday upon the victims’ return from their holidays.
Actor Aljur Abrenica, 23, found his house on Scout Fernandez Street in Barangay (village) Sacred Heart ransacked of close to P600,000 worth of cash, jewelry and high-end electronic devices, when he and his family returned early Saturday from a trip.
Abrenica told Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Kamuning station investigators that he and his family had locked up and left their home unattended at around 5 p.m. of March 27 (Holy Wednesday) for a vacation.
But when the family returned at around 3 a.m. of Black Saturday, Abrenica said that the main door had been forced open and an inspection of the second floor rooms showed that the intruders had taken valuables.
Senior Police Officer 1 Jose Soriano, case investigator, said that the lock of the main door had been jimmied open and that the entire second floor was found in complete disarray, with the burglars apparently sorting out the valuable items they could take from the three rooms.
Abrenica reported as stolen P150,000 cash; US$800 (approximately worth P32,644); P250,000 worth of jewelry; as well as two laptop computers and four high-end mobile phones all worth P135,000.
Meanwhile, burglars struck from Maundy Thursday to Black Saturday to break into a commercial building and loot the closed shops of two tenants of nearly P200,000 cash.
The Western Union money remittance center and the HBC (Home of Beauty Exclusives) Inc., both housed at the Splash Arcade at the corner of Tuayan Street and Quezon Avenue in Barangay (village) Tatalon, lost earnings kept inside their respective vaults.
The QCPD Galas station commander, Superintendent Norberto Babagay, said that the break-in might have happened sometime between 6 p.m. of Thursday and 6:30 a.m. of Saturday while the shops were closed and unguarded for the religious holidays.
Babagay said that the burglars used bolt cutters to get through iron grills and then to the stores’ vaults. The burglary was discovered when HBC cashier Maria Cristina Oclos and security guard Ian Rosalejos opened the stores for business on Black Saturday.
According to the station commander, apart from taking the HBC’s two-day earnings of close to P70,000 cash the thieves looted the store of merchandise. Western Union, he said, lost some P115,000 cash; a wireless internet transmitter; and a mobile phone charger.