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Cops back to chasing criminals after Asean

PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos. JULLIANE LOVE DE JESUS/INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO

The Philippine National Police said on Thursday that more officers had been deployed to patrol malls, transport terminals and other public areas to curb crime in places where large numbers of people converge during the Christmas season.

PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos said the police shifted focus on street crime and motorcycle-riding suspects following the close of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit.

Carlos said theft and robbery cases peak during the Christmas season when most employees receive their annual bonuses and overseas Filipino workers hike remittances to their families.

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He assured that the PNP would provide more visibility to deprive thieves and robbers the opportunity to strike, but also reminded the public to remain alert.

He said there were three elements in a crime—intent, opportunity and target.

“Take away one of these elements and a crime will not happen,” he said.

“But we cannot be everywhere, so the best way (to curb crime) is an empowered and informed public,” Carlos said, adding that awareness is the key to deter crime.

Carlos said the prevalent modus operandi (MO) resorted to by gangs of thieves and robbers include “salisi” (misdirection), “bespren” (best friend), “dura” (spitting), “laslas” (slash) bag or “bulsa” (pocket), “pitas” (pick), “laglag barya” (dropping coins), “ipit” (squeeze) taxi and “tutok-kalawit” (point and snatch).

Carlos said almost all crime gangs distract their prey when employing these MOs.

The salisi gang waits until their intended victims are busy or distracted before grabbing their valuables. Members of the bespren gang pretend to know their victims and then snatch their belongings.

Dura boys tell their victims there is saliva on their clothes or hair and then make off with their money or valuables. The laslas bag or bulsa and the pitas (pickpocket) gangs prey on people who do not pay attention to their belongings or surroundings.

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The laglag barya gang attracts a victim’s attention to the dropped coins, while the ipit taxi gang connive with the driver to rob a passenger who is squeezed inside the cab with nowhere to go.

The tutok-kalawit gang usually preys on teenagers in malls. A gang member puts his arm around the victim pretending to be buddies, secretly point a knife at him or her and then casually walk away with the helpless victim’s valuables.

Check out our Asean 2017 special site for important information and latest news on the 31st Asean Summit to be held in Manila on Nov. 13-15, 2017. Visit http://inquirer.net/asean-2017.

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