Hold-up gang leader killed in police encounter

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A leader of robbery hold-up gang was killed in a police encounter Friday evening in Caloocan City. Senior Supt. Jemar Modequillo, Caloocan police chief, said members of Caloocan Police Community Precinct led by Chief Insp. Narciso Cajipe were conducting an “Oplan-Galugad” anti-crime drive at 10:30 p.m. in Barangay Camarin when they noticed three men standing shirtless in an alley on Pechayan Street, Barangay 178, a clear violation of a city ordinance. The policemen tried to approach the men but they scampered in different directions, prompting a chase. One of the suspects, later identified as Mario Balagtas, about 30 to 35 years old, ran inside his rented house and fired shots toward the policemen. The lawmen fire back and hit the suspect in the body, killing him instantly. A caliber .45 pistol was recovered by Scene of the Crime Operatives from his possession. Cajipe later learned that the slain suspect was a leader of robbery hold-up group preying on students and commuters in northern Caloocan, and just moved into his rented house only a month ago after he was positively identified by his alleged victims in a police rogue’s gallery.

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