TALAVERA, Nueva Ecija -- Unidentified robbers tunneled their way into a pawnshop-cum-money changer outlet but allegedly came out empty-handed in an unsuccessful midnight heist here last Sunday.
Town police commander Supt. Leandro V. Novilla identified the firm nearly robbed as 7MM Pawnshop and Money Changer, located in Bgy. Matias and owned by Fiscal Melvin Martinez, 38, of Bgy. Esguerra, this town.
Novilla said the supposed break-in was discovered by pawnshop appraiser Olivia Astelero-Peralta, 32, of Bgy. Saverona, Talugtug, Nueva Ecija, and security guard Eric Saturno, 25, of Bgy. Villa Nati, Science City of Muñoz, when they opened the shop at 8:30 a.m.
Probers said the suspects initially rented a house adjacent to the pawnshop.
They suddenly struck by first digging a hole from their rented apartment before making a small underground tunnel to where the pawnshop vault was located.
During an inventory, police said no pawnshop valuables were taken during the incident.
Novilla said the break-in was captured by the closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) installed inside the pawnshop, which is also equipped with alarm system. It showed the attempted robbery incident started at 12:03 a.m. Saturday.
He said security guard Lyndon Callanta, 25, of Purok Urduja, Bgy. Poblacion North, Rizal, Nueva Ecija, has been questioned by the police for not being able to notice any unusual noise during his duty.
Recovered at the crime scene were two hydraulic jacks, a manual drill, two sets of pliers, a flashlight, two screw drivers, a hammer, one acetylene tank, gloves and pieces of wood.
Novilla said the suspects, whose identities have yet to be ascertained, fled through the rear fence of the pawnshop compound using a bamboo ladder.