By Martin Sadongdong
The Philippine National Police (PNP) reminded the public on Tuesday that criminals will likely take advantage of Valentine’s Day today (February 14) to victimize “busy and in-love” couples using seven of the most common modus operandi on Hearts Day.
Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao, PNP spokesperson, said the most common modus operandi on Valentine’s are the credit card scam, “bukas-kotse” (ransacking of vehicles), “ipit-taxi” (holdup of taxi passengers), “laslas bag/pocket” (bag slashing and pickpocketing), “pitas” (snatching of earrings), “salisi” (attack of thieves), and “akyat-bahay” (house burglary).
“Usually, the bigger the volume of people are in places, the higher the chance that criminal elements will carry out their evil plans,” Bulalacao told reporters.
He said the public must be made aware of some of these modus operandi as most of them are pulled off by con artists who distract their targets first so that they could have the opportunity to prey on their belongings.
The credit card scam is a more complex operation in which the suspect obtains the personal information of a card holder in order to make an unauthorized withdrawal or purchase.
Bulalacao said car owners should also get a secured parking spot and avoid leaving valuables in the vehicle especially when on a date, because that’s when criminals find the opportunity to break into them.
Extra care should also be taken in riding cabs because some robbery-holdup groups take advantage of this season to strike just the same as burglars surveying unattended houses.
While the PNP will maximize police visibility in all public places today for the Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday, the public are enjoined to be vigilant and report to suspicious individuals who may be lurking in their midst.