By DHEL NAZARIO
An 80-year-old woman lost P1.5 million cash and undetermined amount of jewelry to members of the notorious “budol-budol” gang in Muntinlupa City, police said yesterday.
Police identified the victim as Mercedes Grindstaff, a resident of Hongkong St, Hawaii Circle, Betterliving Subdivision, Parañaque City.
The incident, according to police report, happened between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. last Friday at the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) branch located at Unioil Building on Acacia St. corner Commerce Avenue in Madrigal Business Park, Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa City.
The victim was first approached by an unidentified woman at SM Bicutan, Taguig City, who feigned cluelessness and asked for directions. The woman later convinced the victim to accompany her to a car where the two other suspects – a male and a female – were waiting.
During the ride, the woman asked help from the victim on how to withdraw money from the bank using a bankbook. After a long conversation and sweet talks, the suspects were able to persuade the victim to show her bankbook, after which they headed to the BPI at Madrigal Business Park to withdraw money from her account.
The victim was accompanied by the woman in withdrawing P1.5 million from her account.
Upon their return to the car, the woman persuaded the victim to give her the money and jewelry.
The suspect then placed the cash and the jewelry inside a purple shoulder bag and handed it back to the victim.
After several minutes, the suspects dropped the victim off at Jollibee Molito Complex, Madrigal Business Park, and instructed her to wait for them.
Several hours had passed but the suspects did not show up. This prompted the victim to open the bag and was shocked to see inside two bundles of folded Grade 4 writing pad wrapped in green eco bag.
When she realized that she had been tricked by the suspects, the victim immediately reported the incident to Police Community Precinct 5 (Ayala-Alabang) and sought assistance to recover her money.
The cops launched an operation for possible recovery of the loot and identification and arrest of the suspects but to no avail.
Probers said they will coordinate with the management of BPI Bank Madrigal branch for a soft copy of the CCTV footage of the bank for the identification and arrest of the suspects.