October 30, 2012.  Davao Penal Colony.  Cashier’s Office.  5AM. The early morning drizzle greeted the dawn, an auspicious day like any other.  It was a lazy Tuesday.  As it was his routine, the armorer went through his normal duty.  He assumed as shift officer as armorer, got the keys to the main office and proceeded to open the main door and to close the lights.  It has been like that  for years, at least for those designated with such responsibility.

As the armorer went through the motion of entering the main building, he noticed something unusual.  The first office one would note is the cashier because it serves the fiduciary function of the institution.  The door of the office was left ajar.  There were even tell-tale signs  that it was forcibly opened.

The officer withdrew and called his fellow officers on what he discovered.  The reinforcements immediately appeared and in a few seconds, the entire building was cordoned off.  They believed that the office had been violated.  There was a break in.

The municipal police was called and the station immediately dispatched a team of PNP SOCO (Scene of the crime operatives) in the area.

The cashier, the one in charge, on the other hand, who was earlier informed on the state of disarray of her office was speechless and was almost in shock.  She had a day earlier issued the payroll to the employees and she had a few envelopes still left for distribution.  The pay envelopes containing cash and loose change were still in her drawers outside of the vault.  If indeed her office was ransacked, everything there would have been carted away, an easy pick.  Every valuable outside the steel cabinet would be fair game.

That fateful day, the cashier’s office was meticulously rigged with a cordon.  No one was supposed to trespass.  It was veritable “no man’s land” until the police and the institution’s investigators would have concluded their crime analysis.

The joint team of police and Dapecol investigators scoured the area for tell tale signs.  They snooped around for clues.  They wanted to know where the robber passed through.  They had sketches drawn to determine the exact steps the culprit took until they (assuming it is a group) reached the cashier’s room.  There were mudded rubber shoe prints.  But the prints yielded a similar pattern, an indication that it came from just one person.

The robber entered through plywood covered window of the conference room where adjacent to said facility is the office of the Superintendent.  Said office however was by passed.   Several offices leading to the cashier’s office were also ignored.  The intention was mainly to get through the cashier’s office.  But it was an amateur’s effort since the cashier had already given what was withdrawn as payroll for the personnel the day before.  If at all something could be amassed, it would mainly be stacks of promissory notes!

Investigators noted that the door of the cashier’s office was forcibly opened.  The padlock was broken.  Inside the room, the drawers of the personnel were likewise unlocked, leaving the entire contents displayed.  Although most of the things that were strewn were empty pay envelopes, a gallon full of bills and coins, intended as donation for the construction of the community chapel, was left atop the desk for the taking.  On the further end of the desk was a stack of coins but which was scattered as a result of the attempted heist.  Again, there was no indication that they would bag the coins since it was left behind sprawling on the floor.

According to the cashier when finally she calmed down and had began to conduct an inventory of her things, the check books, the vouchers, the unsigned checks, forms and related documents were in their proper places and undisturbed.  The vault where cash and valuables were safely kept remained as it were, untouched and without any trace of disruption.

It has been surmised by the joint operation of investigators that the regular patrol team which conducted their on-site inspection may have unsettled the culprit forcing them to leave their nefarious mission in haste.

The cashier and personnel of the cashier’s office were tasked by Dapecol leadership to counter check and conduct an instant inventory of property and valuable items especially a cash count of their belongings both personal and official to arrive at the total picture of the incident.  As a result of their findings, nothing has been vanished nor went missing.  The gallon full of bills and coins were still there for endorsement to the church officials.

Be that as it may, there was still something that was robbed and which consequently has been lost in the process—it was the officers’ complacency.


About vjtesoro

A perpetual student of Corrections

Posted on October 30, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Thank you, sir. Your term complacency fell a liitle bit short. To me, it is pure lack of essential foresight for the cashiers team. They were very lucky that the payroll has already been dispatched. Maybe it is high time for the system to be changed..The utilization of ATM cards for em[ployees instead of cash. You can save time, money and effort and even reduce the number of employees at the cashiers office.


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