By MARY ANN MANJA BAYANG
This earth is no longer a safe place to stay. Criminals abound our neighborhood. They come in all colors, sizes and creed. Criminals have been creative beyond imagination in their scheming methods to pounce on their prey.
This week, one senior citizen was almost victimized by a group of criminals plying the city. After we reported the incident to the police, we were informed that similar incidents were reported in the past weeks. So everyone, beware!
This senior citizen (known as Tita by all her children’s friends) was approached by a woman who referred to her as “Tita” and who claimed that she knew Tita’s daughter. She engaged Tita in a conversation, held her hand and told her that she just came from Australia and has perfume for Tita’s daughter. This scheming woman told Tita that the perfume is in her car so they started walking. Then the scheming woman started asking Tita whether she has children abroad, whether she keeps money in her house, whether she has a bank account and which bank, whether she has jewelries, etcetera etcetera. Tita noticed that they walked a considerable distance and still did not reach the scheming woman’s car. She became very suspicious with the questions of the woman who she really does not know.
Tita was then shown a dark colored van with plate number XDT 420, which the woman said was her car. They went to the car and Tita noticed that there was a man in the driver’s seat. Instead of giving Tita the perfume she said was for Tita’s daughter, the woman tried to convince Tita to get into the van. Sensing that things were not going normally already, Tita stood her ground not to go inside the van and insisted that the woman give the perfume directly to her daughter. Fortunately, Tita was able to jot down the number of the van which is XDT 420.
Obviously, the scheming woman did not know Tita’s daughter because in the course of the conversation, she mentioned some things that do not really match with what was real. The line of questioning made by the suspicious woman was about money, jewelries and properties. There was obviously an attempt to entice Tita into the van and who knows what could have happened to her if she did.
Similar incidents were reported. Victims ranged from students to professionals to housewives to senior citizens. Some even reported they were hypnotized into giving their money to these criminals while one reported that she was also hypnotized into withdrawing money from her ATM and giving it to strangers. Some of the incidents were reported to the police.
The incident with Tita was comprehensively reported including the plate number and description of the van. The policeman on duty merely said that Tita should check with the Land Transportation Office to check on who owns the van with plate number XDT 420. But that is exactly the primary reason why Tita went to the police office – for the police to conduct an investigation on the vehicle. What can our policemen do then? How will they make our city safer to live in?
All victims of similar criminal schemes should come out and report to the police. This is an alarming criminal activity that threatens the life, security and property of the people and the community but which does not seem to be on the priority list of the policemen. Only when we have concerted efforts from the community and the policemen can we be able to solve this threat. Victims have been reporting to the policemen – it is time that action should also be seen from the police forces’ side. #