Mid-August nang kumalat sa Facebook ang post ng isang babaeng nabiktima ng taxi holdup sa Makati.
According to the victim, she hailed a cab along Chino Roces Avenue past midnight of August 9. She was going to BGC in Taguig, so she instructed the driver to take Gil Puyat Avenue. The driver followed the instruction but soon after, he turned towards Malugay Street. Sensing there was something wrong, the woman asked him to go to Jupiter Street. But the driver declared a holdup. Two men suddenly boarded the cab.
Aside from her money, the thieves took the victim’s ATM cards. Nagamit nila ito as she was forced to give them the PINs at gunpoint. After about an hour, the cab reached Fairview in Quezon City, where the victim was dropped off and given enough money to take a bus.
“Mababait naman kami, kailangan lang talaga namin. Pero siyempre bago kami masaktan, ikaw muna,” sabi ng isa sa mga holdaper bago tuluyang pakawalan ang victim.
Stories like this are nothing new. Even the modus operandi is not new. But since pumasok na ang “ber” months and Christmas is drawing near, the Philippine National Police (PNP) expects crimes like these as well as petty crimes or “crimes against property” to go up.
The PNP warns the public about the following methods which criminals may use:
Ipit Bus Gang
Modus: Three to five men and women will pretend to be bus, jeepney or light rail passengers. Gigitgitin nila yung target, making it appear na siksikan lang kasi talaga. Yun pala, they will slash the bag or pocket of the victim.
How to avoid:Put your wallets and bags in front of you, where you can constantly see and check on them. Check on passengers who may be too close for comfort.
Modus: Suspects will be on the prowl sa mga matataong lugar like malls, restaurants, computer shops, bars, and clubs. They will appear dressed and decent. Sa mga bar, for example, they will pretend to be patrons and chat or socialize with the victims. When the victim is not looking, they or an accomplice will snatch the victim’s personal belongings.
How to avoid: Don’t hang bags behind chairs. Always place them on your laps or shoulders. Don’t leave cellphones, keys or other valuables casually lying around. And more importantly, don’t drink too much!
Modus: Household helpers are the targets of this modus. Suspects will call the home and mimic the voice of the amo and tell the maid na naaksidente siya. The suspect will ask the helper to get whatever cash and jewelry na naiwan sa bahay, even to open rooms or drawers if necessary. The unsuspecting maid will then bring the valuables to a designated place where she will soon discover na naloko na pala siya.
How to avoid: Inform your helpers about this modus. In all likelihood, the suspect will copy the voice of the amo. If this will be the case, magkasundo kayo ng maid about a “password” or a “security or challenge question” only the two of you can answer. Once in a while, magpanggap na suspek at subukang tawagan ang kasambahay sa landline to test her. Alamin kung madali nga ba siyang mabuyo o mapaniwala.
Modus: Minors and senior citizens are the usual victims of this syndicate. They will approach the potential victim in a mall, for example, to ask where a piece of equipment or object can be bought. Usually, expensive ang bibilhin kunwari ng suspect. The suspect will ask the victim to hold on to a bag full of money for whatever reason, while the suspect surveys the store where he can buy the item. The suspect will even show the money bundles to the victim. Pero as a collateral, the suspect will ask for the cellphone, valuables, etc. of the victim. It will be too late before the victim realizes that the suspect has fled and puro papel lang pala yung pera na nasa bag na iniwan sa kanya.
How to avoid: Simple lang. Don’t talk to strangers!
Meanwhile, the PNP has identified crime prone areas where such schemes may be employed. Among them are shopping destinations in:
- Ayala Avenue, Makati (PCP 6)
- Greenhills, San Juan (PCP 1)
- Baclaran, Paranaque (PCP 1)
- Alabang, Muntinlupa (PCP 2)
And areas where petty crimes are rampant like:
- Bagong Silang, Caloocan (na saklaw ng Police Community Precinct 10)
- Tugatog, Malabon (PCP 4)
- North Bay Boulevard South, Navotas (PCP 4)
- Marulas, Valenzuela (PCP 3)
- Nino, Marikina (PCP 2)
- Pinagbuhatan, Pasig (PCP 4)
- Plainview, Mandaluyong (PCP 2)
- Nino, Pasay (PCP 6)
- Pamplona, Las Pinas (PCP 3)
- Signal Village, Taguig (PCP 4)
To augment the police force, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has ordered the deployment of 900 cops, who are assigned to desk jobs, to the streets.
Aside from this, the Joint Anti-Bank Robbery Action Committee (JABRAC) and the PNP Anti-Cyber Crime Group have heightened their operations against ATM Card Fraud, after dumami ang mga nabiktima nito.
DILG Secretary Mar Roxas ordered the PNP to increase its efforts, lalo na sa Metro Manila.
“Dapat patuloy tayong mag-isip ng paraan kung paano natin mapapalakas ang kampanya natin laban sa kriminalidad. Dapat ring matukoy natin kung kailangan nating palitan ang ilang paraan ng pulisya sa pagpuksa ng krimen,” ayon kay Roxas.
Kapag nasa isang mataong lugar tulad ng shopping mall o bazaar, alamin kung saan nakapwesto ang mga help desk ng mga pulis, just in case mangailangan ng tulong.
Pwede ring ireport ang crimes sa pinakamalapit na PCP o sa PNP Textline 09178475757 o sa Patrol 117.