THE Southern Police District on Friday reiterated its call to the public to be aware of members of Budol-Budol Gang and other criminals preying on mall shoppers this peak buying holiday season.
Budol-Budol Gang can strike anywhere using their alleged powers of hypnotism and “boodle” or counterfeit money.
They lure or blackmail their victims into giving valuables or cash in exchange for a bag filled with fake bills or products.
Last Thursday, operatives of the Makati City police arrested 10 suspected members of the gang who victimized an elderly woman inside Power Plant Mall, Rockwell in Barangay Poblacion.
SPD spokesperson Jenny Tecson identified the suspects as Angelita Ditos, 52; Mabelle Lopez, 42; Elenita Alba, 58; Analyn Perez, 43; Marie Cablo, 37; Linda Marquez, 44; Adelmo Ranas, 58; Ramon Bertuldo, 51; Jerry Apao, 59, and Edgar Yabut, 60.
Tecson said the suspects were now detained at the Makati Police Station jail facility and were charged with estafa before the City Prosecutors Office.
“As of this time, several complainants appeared to the police station and will also be filing a case against this group since they also identified them as the same persons who scammed them several weeks ago,” she said.
The suspects’ arrest was made after alert security personnel of Lockheed Security Agency designated at the Plaza Drive of Power Plant Mall reported the presence of the suspicious looking individuals roaming around with an elderly woman.
The security guards informed the authorities that the group’s modus in victimizing shoppers was caught by the closed circuit television cameras of the establishment.
Elements of the Makati City Police Community Precinct - 6 immediately formed a team and responded, leading to the group’s apprehension.
The authorities recovered cash money and other pieces of evidence used by the gang in their modus operandi including a bundle of 10 pieces of P500 filled with several P20 denomination to make it appear that the money was worth P250,000.
Also recovered from the suspects were boodle money wrapped in paper bag, a fan knife, a US dollar money, assorted jewelry, seven mobile phone units, assorted coins, different types of lady shoulder bags and wallets, one Isuzu Trooper with registration plate XBP 109 and one Toyota Revo with plate WLH 369.
Makati City police commander Rogelio Simon commended the security personnel of Lockheed Security Agency manning the mall for their vigilance and quick actions by identifying the modus operandi of the gang and their coordinated efforts in reporting to the police leading to the arrest of the suspects.
The SPD earlier alerted the public against various modus operandi this coming Yuletide.
The authorities identified some of the criminal groups as Salisi Gang, Siksik Gang, Riles Gang, Sneaky Office Intruders and Condo Criminals.
Salisi Gang members lurk anywhere where there are people—malls, restaurants, fast food joints, computer shops, bars, and clubs—and are just waiting for you to get distracted.
They either divert their victims’ attention or wait until their targets are distracted before they move in for the kill.
The Riles Gang, on the other hand, is a group of pickpockets posing as commuters of Metro Rail Transit-3, Light Rail Transit 1 and 2, and Philippine National Railways.
The gang members squeeze in, operate in groups of four or five, shove or push a prospective victim to distract him or her, while their accomplice picks gadgets and wallets inside the trains.
Members of Siksik Gang victimize bus passengers along major thoroughfares in Metro Manila, particularly Roxas Boulevard in cities of Pasay and Parañaque, and Epifanio de los Santos Avenue in Makati City.
The group would press against the bodies of the victims while taking their important valuables such as gadgets and mobile phones, or point a blade at them.
The Sneaky Office Intruders are thieves who prey on workplaces with little or no security, usually during lunch hour or the afternoon break when employees leave their desks.
They may take on different disguises like posing as an employee’s friend, visitor, or as a messenger--complete with a Visitor’s ID.
They target valuables like mobile phones, cash, laptops and credit cards.
The Condo Criminals are thieves who invade unlocked condominium units, apartment buildings, and townhouse compounds.
Once inside, they ransack the place for valuables.