Plaza Lama-Banco Popular robbery
Using a similar modus operandi to the Bella Vista Mall bank robbery on 15 September 2016, four armed men arrived on motorcycles and robbed the Banco Popular branch on the first floor at Plaza Lama shopping mall on 27 de Febrero with Winston Churchill Avenue in Santo Domingo on Monday evening, 26 December 2016 when values were to be transported. Two security guards from the La Confianza values transport company were injured in the robbery.
Banco Popular spokesman José Marmol confirmed to the press that the thieves had stolen RD$3.7 million and more than US$25,000 in cash in the robbery that occurred from shortly after 7pm to around 8pm as can be seen in a surveillance camera video. Three employees were working in the bank at the time when many customers were in the bank and the mall.
According to media reports, the armed robbers held up La Confianza values transporting company security men as they were taking the moneybags to the securities truck. At the mall, shots were fired into the air and tear gas bombs thrown to disperse the general public until they reached the bank branch and continued shooting in the air as they made their getaway from the mall after the robbery.
The injured guards were identified as 36-year old José de Jesús Reynoso and 28-year old Germán Merán who were taken to the Marcelino Vélez Santana Hospital for emergency treatment. Their wounds were not serious.
Witnesses told the media that the criminals’ spectacular entrance was like something out of a movie.
SWAT teams and National Police Criminal Investigations (Dicrim) officials are investigating the case. All four thieves escaped after the robbery and according to reports, one of the motorcycles used by two of the criminals was left behind at the scene of the crime.
This is the third in a series of similar unresolved crimes this year in which armed robbers arrive on motorcycle to hold up the values transport personnel at leading shopping centers after injuring the security guards. The other robberies this year took place at Bella Vista Mall on 14 September 2016, when at around 6:30pm security transport guards making their way with the cash from a bank branch inside Bella Vista Mall were shot at. One of the security guards, 56-year old Bienvenido García, was killed and another, Yervin Eduardo Cuevas, was seriously injured. The thieves have not been captured. In that unresolved robbery, two men arrived on a motorcycle and intercepted two security guards who were bringing moneybags from a Bella Vista mall bank to the Grupo 4S securities truck for transporting. Former military officer and son of a retired general, John Emilio Percival Matos was named as the lead suspect in the robbery and is a fugitive of justice.
The other incident took place at La Sirena on Av. Charles de Gaulle in Santo Domingo East on 5 August 2016 when armed robbers stole the moneybag with the day’s deposits from La Sirena that was being taken to a BHD-Leon branch by a La Sirena employee. When he noticed he was to be robbed, the employee ran for cover to the Asociación Popular de Ahorros y Préstamos bank branch in La Sirena, and was followed by the gunman. Three people were injured in that robbery.
Source: DR1, Elcaribe
Dec 27, 2016
Category: DR News |