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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

‘Criminal groups prowling malls this Christmas’

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Police on Saturday warned the public against members of criminal groups expected to prowl commercial centers, shopping malls, public conveyances, and other crowded areas in Metro Manila this Christmas season.

In Pasay, the city police station came up with a public advisory about the modus of petty criminals, particularly pickpockets. 

Police commander Col. Mario Mayames Jr. said usually in shopping places, three to five people conspire, and they dress smartly, sometimes they will use a child, pretend to be disabled or pregnant, and pretend to shop normally, so it’s not immediately noticeable.

Police said in public conveyances, the criminals will take public transport one by one. There they will approach the target, one on the right and one on the left, behind or in front, the others will make a scene. They will twist the victim and slowly snatch the target’s valuables such as a wallet, and cell phone.

In Manila, a viral video showed a shopper wearing a body bag busily picking out bags in Divisoria. Two women pretending to be shoppers arrived. They tried to position themselves in between the victim and alternately moved beside the victim until one of them opened the bag.

It only takes a few seconds for the shopper to notice that her bag was opened, the video footage showed. The whole scene only took less than two minutes. 

The National Capital Region Police Office has ordered all district commanders — Central Police District, Northern Police District, Southern Police District, Eastern Police District, and Manila Police District — to be on alert status, and strengthen police visibility and street patrolling in anticipation of possible crimes to happen this holiday, and 

The NCRPO also urged ordinary citizens to help the authorities prevent criminals do their thing. It also advised the public to report criminal incidents using their social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter. 

It stated that crime can happen to anyone at the most unexpected time, and to combat crime the public must be kept informed of the various modus operandi of criminals.

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