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Saturday, May 20, 2006

Highway robberies strike manila highways!

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­Robbery is the leading form of major crime today which law enforcers have been busy dealing with. At present, incidents of "BUKAS KOTSE" are alarming at the South Luzon Expressway(SLEX) affecting motorists travelling north and south who stop over at gasoline stations along the expressway for food or use of rest rooms. According to the police, there's a syndicate operating along SLEX using expensive vehicles in their nefarious activities. They strike anytime at daytime and nighttime. ­­­­Knowledge of the techniques or modus operandi employed by these robbers is essential in order to protect your properties. ­­­­Modus Operandi: ­­The syndicate uses expensive, heavily tinted vehicles, such as Starex, Ford Explorer, and the like, in their criminal activities. They usually spot their victims at the parking area of food chains in gasoline stations along South Luzon Expressway. They would normally park their vehicle beside an unoccupied parking space. While parked, member/s of the syndicate who are inside the heavily tinted vehicle would discreetly wait for their victim/s, especially those who park beside their vehicle. Once they spot expensive belongings inside a prospective car, they would tinker with the lock to open the door and steal expensive belongings inside the car. ­­­­What to do: ­­· Never leave valuables inside your car in plain view, even if the car is locked. Put them in the trunk or out of sight, or better do not leave valuables inside the car period. Even if your car is heavily tinted, they can observe you when you get off your car and they can peep at what you or your passengers have left inside and assess if it is worthy of their operation. ­­· Totally close your windows all the way up, as in some incidents, the robbers hook the door locks thru the opening of the windows. Make sure that the gasket lining of your window is intact as they could also insert their gadget in this clearance to reach the door lock. ­­· Even if you're rushing, look around before you get out of your car and stay alert. Test all your doors if properly locked. ­­· Before leaving your home, make sure you have inside your car whatever you need during your travel on the road to avoid opening your vehicle trunk during stop-overs especially if you have expensive items inside your trunk. ­­· Don't hesitate to ask favors from any security personnel on duty near the area to give his attention to your car. ­­­­"DISAPPEARING BAGS/WALLETS" ­­If you will observe the food chains in the gasoline stations along the Expressway, almost all have glass walls which make you an easy target for these robbers. Security guards hired by these gasoline stations and by individual fast food stores claim that in spite of several incidents where they catch these robbers and turn them over to the police, almost all easily get bailed out, which is an indication that these robbers are members of a syndicate. ­­­­Modus Operandi: ­­· The syndicate comes altogether in one vehicle and stops at each gasoline station along the expressway. ­­· They monitor the fast food store and spot a victim sitting in one of these restaurants with his own or companion's bag beside him. ­­· They come in a group of at least 3 with the ff roles: ­­1. Entertainer - who diverts your attention. ­­2. Sweeper - discreetly picks up the bag or wallet while your or your companion's attention is on the "entertainer". ­­3. Look-out - observes anybody in the area, including the security guard who might notice their activity, to warn their group. This may be more than one person. ­­­­What to do: ­­· Do not leave your bag or wallet with your companion (especially a child) sitting in the restaurant while you go to the restroom or get your orders or go to another shop. If you do, make sure that he/she holds it on his lap. ­­· While eating, place your bag in front of you, on your lap, or underneath the table if it is surrounded by your own group members, making sure it is visible should an outsider reach for it. ­­· Observe your surroundings. Be alert for diversion tactics. You will notice them because they are normally loud, trying to create a scene or a simple act that will force you to look at the other direction from your things, such as finding a dollar or a peso bill on the floor near your seat or "accidentally" tripping and spilling a drink near you. ­­· If you ever spott one of these criminals working on somebody else, alert your companion discreetly as this robber does not do it alone, and find a way to discreetly alert the guard. ­­­If you have been victimized, report the incident to uniformed security personnel of the establishment and request them to assist you in reporting to the nearest police station.


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