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Creative Criminals

You have to hand it to Pinoy criminals. When push comes to shove, they can really come up with creative ways to steal.

During the weekends, I usually take the jeepney from Anonas to work since it’s faster than taking the MRT (shorter walk for me). My mom repeatedly warned me to avoid taking the jeepney since I got my new Ipod Touch (a gift from my very generous l’amour) a few days ago. Guys, follow your mothers’ advice. They know a lot better.

This is a true story–it actually happened on my way to work today (a little before 7am) in a jeepney bound for Welcome from Anonas. I hope this serves as a warning to fellow commuters out there about these guys’ modus operandi.

Despite my mom’s dire warnings, I still decided to ride the jeepney to work. I was originally sitting in the far corner near the exit of the jeepney beside this other guy when two men joined us. One of the men was limping and he asked me to move so he can sit closer to the exit then his friend squeezed in right beside him so I was forced to transfer to the other side of the jeep.  I sat beside another woman passenger. A few minutes later, two other men rode the jeepney and sat on our side beside the woman. When we were in Kamuning, one of the guys on our side of the jeep started making belching sounds as if he was about to vomit and his companion told us to transfer to the other side of the jeepney to avoid his “excretions”.  My fellow female companion and I immediately moved and I found myself sitting beside the limping man again.

A little while later, the limping guy told me that I had saliva in my hair (Yep. Kadiri di ba?). The belching guy’s companion (the same one who told us to move and who was then sitting in front of me) started pointing at my hair as well. I immediately went for a tissue and started wiping my hair and began to panic when I couldn’t seem to find it. The guy in front of me continued making gestures and the limping guy was telling me “Nasa gilid pa. Hindi sa may likod, sa taas ng konti.” To my surprise, the guy in front of me reached over, took the tissue from my hand and started wiping my hair for me! And he was wiping it really hard that my head was being forced to the left with my hair shielding my face!

Since I detest total strangers touching me (Hello! Close tayo?!?) I immediately slapped his hands away, turned around, looked down and found the limping guy’s jacket on top of my bag! Without a moment’s thought, I pried his jacket away from my bag and found it open. I looked at him suspiciously but did not say a word since there was still the possibility that I did have saliva in my hair and that his jacket just happened to fall conveniently on top of my bag. I checked my bag’s contents and didn’t find anything important missing. The limping guy and his companion went down from the jeep right after followed by the belching guy and the “helpful” guy who tried to “help” me clean up. To add insult to injury, the limping guy wasn’t limping anymore as soon as they got down from the jeep.

When I finally reached the office, I went to the CR to check if I really did have saliva on my hair but found none.I am now 100% sure that those four men knew each other and probably planned everything. I kinda regret not making a scene since all the passengers in the jeep were totally convinced that I was an unfortunate “vomit” victim (the female passenger who was sitting beside me was kind enough to offer me her small bottle of alcohol). Those men (cretins!) were really good since even I was convinced and I’m the most suspicious person I know! I can only thank my lucky stars that I was using a particularly big bag today and all my important stuff like my mobile phones and my wallet were in the bottom of my bag underneath books, my make up kit and my lunch. They didn’t even get my coin purse. It was also lucky that I clipped my Ipod to my bag instead of just dumping it inside as I normally do. My blue case logic probably saved it from being stolen. I’m using the one with the metal ring. The case was a little expensive but after this incident, I strongly recommend it!It pays to be cautious and in my case, a little OC.

Although I’d probably ride the jeep again (sorry Mom! It still is the fastest way to work) I’d probably take extra precautions. Spread the word to your friends and loved ones, especially those you know who work around the Quezon City area. I don’t know where these guys operate but it pays to be informed about these things.

  1. rach
    November 25, 2007 at 6:44 am

    parang may napanood na po yata akong ganito (sa XXX? not really sure).

    but i suppose studying in UP is a plus kung constant vigilance vs. magnanakaw din lang ang usapan. =)

  2. sidney
    November 25, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    magpapasko na kasi kaya double time sila. Magingat ka!

  3. louie
    November 25, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    OMG, Haze, you scared me…I almost thought they got to your iPod touch!

    It kinda pays to have a messy bag, eh?

  4. November 25, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    being a UP student kinda makes you used to riding the jeepneys but this experience was new to me. I have to admit that common sense flew out the window when I was told na may laway ang buhok ko! 🙂

    thanks sid. will do! ikaw rin. 🙂

    I was scared too girl! I would have died if I lost it! And yup…It does pay to have a messy bag…buti na lang talaga ang dami kong abubot!

  5. November 25, 2007 at 10:43 pm

    Grabe naman yung mga yun. Akala ko rin nanenok na ang iPod mo. Ingats po lagi.

  6. clare
    November 30, 2007 at 10:42 pm

    grabe! i’ve heard of this before and saw a report on it on tv as well…never knew anyone who experienced it before.

    we really should be more careful these days….i think i’m going to keep in mind to keep my important items at the bottom of my bag and be more careful around strangers… good thing you didn’t lose anything.

  7. grace
    November 30, 2007 at 11:39 pm

    hi hazel, this same event happened to me while i was on my home from work a year ago. Since I’m working in a call center, my shift ends around the same time you go to work, so I was wearing shades and trying to get some sleep during the trip (you’ll be so sleep deprived working in a call center, you’ll take every chance you can get…)

    Anyway, I was working in a call center in Marikina, just one ride away from where i live, and since it was so hard to take an fx during that day and i was so sleepy already, i decided to take a jeep. I was trying to get some sleep when a four men rode the jeep like 10-15 mins later. im always weary of groups of men na makakasakay ko, actually i’m always watchful of everyone na makakasakay ko. and then yun na nga, one of them started belching, parang dura sha ng dura outside the window, and everyone was avoiding it, except me coz i was two or three passengers away, pero katabi ko yung isang kasama nila. then sabi ng ng katabi ko may phlegm daw ako sa buhok. i didnt believe them so i touched it with my bear hands, when i found nothing, di ko na sila pinansin. and sabi nung nasa tapat ko na kasama din nila, meron pa nga. yung katabi ko, sabi nya, “meron o,” tapos sha yung humawak, like 2 seconds, then pinakita nya sa ken na meron nga shang malagkit na
    nakuha, pero more gummy than phlegm nga eh, and i knew it was a ploy kc ang phlegm may kasamang laway-laway diba, and of course you’ll know it when you see it. he even asked kung may tissue ako. sabi ko wala. alcohol daw, sabi ko wala din. pero i had both in my bag. nung wala silang napala, they alighted the jeep like a minute later, i found my bag open din (i don’t know if i was too sleepy to close it din nung nagbayad ako) pero walang nawawala. a week later, that’s when i read about this spitting M.O. in jeeps.

    wala lang i just wanted to share din. be careful guys, ndi lahat ng tumutulong ay tinutulungan nga kayo.

  8. December 7, 2007 at 12:44 am

    A colleague of mine just showed me a text message forwarded by her sister whose friend was victimized by the same modus operandi. Unfortunately, her phone was stolen. Naku guys spread the word! Forewarned is forearmed…

  1. November 25, 2007 at 12:20 am

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