Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fwd: Modus operandi of thieves preying on kids in malls

Got these from my Yahoogroups.

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: dindin san juan <dindinsj@yahoo. com>
To: AGS2009@yahoogroups .com
Sent: Thursday, September 25, 2008 10:07:14 AM
Subject: [AGS2009] Re: TIMEZONE

Another incident forwarded to me.
Just want everybody to be aware of the different modus operandi. I already emailed timezone & attached stories forwarded to me of the incidents that happened at timezone (glorietta & greenhills), I recommended if they can put an emergency button to press when kids are being approached by strangers or when they are afraid or when they need help.
My son is also a regular visitor of timezone.
----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Richard Yap
To: manuela ditapat
Sent: Monday, September 1, 20082:13:56 AM
Subject: Re: Warn your kids about new modus operandi in malls/make sure you read it..
Hi Mhane,

i just read this email today, too late, Ashley was victimized yesterday night at about 7pm at Time Zone in Glorietta. She was with her friend while we were waiting for her at Jollibee. A woman approached her and said that she was her mom's friend and that her mom asked her to bring her to try on some clothes. She also asked for the celphone of Ashley's friend which the girl gave. She was brought to SM Makati, and was asked to try on some clothes while she held on to Ashley's bag. She even asked for the diamond earrings which Ashley was wearing, when Ash looked out the girl was gone already. In her bag was her two celphones, her wallet, school id. She must have been hypnotized or something for her to follow everything the girl asked her to do, although she did try to ask for her bag back before she went into the fitting room. Anyway, we are just glad that she came back safe and sound. All the while we were already frantically looking for her because we had been calling her and she wasn't answering our calls. She was escorted back by a civilian guard from SM. The guards of Timezone and Ayala were very helpful and stayed with us the whole time, they even let us view their security camera recording where we saw the criminal. I can't say the same for SM though, their security officers were useless and worthless talking to because they had so many excuses for not showing the tapes, they wanted us to write a request which would be forwarded to their legal department before they could take any action, if ever they agreed. They were also giving excuses that the camera might not show the face because it might be too far, they didn't even try, and to think that the crime happened in their area of responsibility. Anyway, just a warning to all, it seems like criminals are now looking at kids to victimize and they've moved into the malls. Seems like no place is safe anymore in this God forsaken country, where criminals are on the loose and most of them are running or should i say ruining this country.

----- Original Message ----
From: veegee garcia
Sent: Thursday, September 25, 2008 5:24:22 AM


Please tell your boys to be careful and watch out for this modus..

--- On Tue, 9/23/08, cdeocampo@smg. sanmiguel. com.ph wrote:

From: cdeocampo@smg. sanmiguel. com.ph
Subject: Re: [ADMU_ME1y84- 4y87] FW: [wiwag_instructors] Fw: From a concerned parent... Trinoma Incident
To: pinkybuenaflor@ yahoo.com, darrendeocampo@ yahoo.com, anette_deocampo@ yahoo.com, ecbuenaflor@ pbcom.com. ph, renzodeocampo@ yahoo.com
Date: Tuesday, September 23, 2008, 9:23 PM

----- Forwarded by Cecile Caroline U. De Ocampo/CMAG/ SMCH/PH/SMG on 09/24/2008 12:22 PM -----
I never thought that my son will experience a similar incident as what had happened in Trinoma because I had already warned him about it. But I guess, when a child is cornered and alone, he can be so confused, frightened and helpless and subsequently follows whatever is asked of him.

My son was playing with four of his friends at Time Zone (the one in Greenhills Theater Mall) last Saturday (Sept. 20) afternoon. They were all playing separately and far apart from each other. A guy then approached my son and started scolding him that he was destroying the machine and he could be penalized for P100,000.00. He also warned my son that he will have a bad record in Greenhills for doing so. He kept on saying things to intimidate my son. He made my son believe that he was the owner of Time Zone. The employees of Time Zone did not mind this person who was pestering my son. My son attempted to call the attention of his classmate, but that guy would do all things to stop him. My son was able to shout the name of his classmate once but unfortunately Time Zone was too noisy and his call was left unheard. Finally, the guy told my son to go with him to the Greenhills office to clear his name. They went out of Time Zone and went to V-mall food court. While my son was walking towards V-mall, he felt that this man was not alone. There seemed to be people following them because when he tried to stop, people at the back would also stop. When they were in the food court, the guy told my son that he could not bring his things to the Greenhills office, so he brought out a plastic bag and asked him to put his PSP, cellphone and wallet into the plastic bag. He asked my son to seat and wait for him. That guy then went to talk with one of the personnel in Quantum, making it appear that he is depositing my son's things with the Quantum personnel. My son waited for maybe 10 minutes, and the guy disappeared. My son approached several Quantum personnel and asked if somebody left a plastic bag with him. The Quantum personnel told my son that he was robbed and the guy will not come back anymore. Realizing that he had been fooled, my son rushed back to our store in Promenade.

To make things worst, when my son's classmates were asking Time Zone personnel about the disappearance of my son, they did not offer any assistance and would not give any information. There was supposed to be a guard at the door where my son went out, but at that time that my son left Time Zone, there was no guard at the door. It could have been that an accomplice had led the guard away from the main door. I am still not sure if there had been connivance between Time Zone personnel and the thief, but because of their indifference to this incident, please advise your son not to patronize this establishment anymore.

Please advise your children to refrain from bringing their PSP to public places. I think it was my son's PSP, although it was kept in his pocket, that made him the target.

============ ========= ========= ====

Dear All,

Most often our urgent prayers regarding our children are for their protection. It is hard to think about other aspects of their lives if we are worried sick over their personal safety. Having to raise my children on my own I had every reason to fear for their safety. So I pray for the Lord's protection on a daily basis. I pray for their protection from violence, molestation, kidnapping and accidents. "Hide them under the shadow of your wings, from the wicked who oppress them and from the deadly enemies who surround them."

Though my children have had their share of minor injuries including a couple that required an emergency room and stitches, nothing ever happened to them that came close to being kidnapped, held against their will or even victims of a hold-up until my son Renzo was involved in one. Monday afternoon, August 18 Renzo and 3 of his classmates were going to practice at our home. Their meeting place was Trinoma Mall at 1pm . Renzo was accompanied by his elder brother till the time that Renzo was with his classmates. Renzo already with 2 classmates, Ram and Aaron waited for Richard 3rd classmate at Olympic Village 4th floor. While waiting they went thru soccer balls and boxing gloves. Soon after they received a text message from 3rd classmate Richard who was now waiting for them at Seattle's Best, 1st floor. They proceeded to meet Richard and as soon as they were complete they headed for our home but then a man approached them and identified himself as an employee of Olympic Village and even flashed an ID to the boys. The man informed them that they damaged an item and that they should follow him back to the store. The man narrated every move the boys made and true enough one of them accidentally dropped a soccer ball. Before leaving Seattle 's Best, Richard the last classmate to arrive was told to stay behind and wait for their return.

The man then brought the 3 boys to the 4th floor Cinema Area. Ram and Aaron were told to give Renzo all their belongings (3 cell phones including Renzo's, an IPOD, a PSP and 2 wallets) and were ordered by the man to go to the restroom to wash their hands before the investigation. The boys followed as ordered. When they returned Renzo and the man was no longer there. Fearing for Renzo's safety and their other friend they headed back to Seattle 's Best. Richard was still there but Renzo was no where to be found.

All three went back to Olympic Village and informed them of the man who introduced himself as an employee and that Renzo was missing. They were brought to the Trinoma Security Office also at the 4th floor and reported the incident. At 2:45pm at home, I received a phone call that every parent feared, "M'am, this is Ram, Renzo's classmate, M'am si Renzo po is missing. . . ." I couldn't believe what I was hearing I asked them where they were, what happened and who was this man they were talking about. I quickly headed to Trinoma to meet with them. I was scared, thoughts ran through my mind, all the what ifs and all I could think of was Renzo's safety. I called on the Lord, my dad and my mother-in-law to please keep my son safe. When I arrived at the Security office, my prayers were answered, there was Renzo, scared, pale, shaken-up and in-tears but most importantly safe and unharmed.

Having been convinced that they indeed damaged an item at Olympic Village, Renzo was told by this man that he is bringing him to the main office of Olympic Village. So they both walked all the way to West Avenue until they reached the building beside Caltex. The man told Renzo to stay outside the building and wait for his return. An hour had passed no sign of this man, Renzo approached the building security guard and asked if he had seen the man he was with enter their building and the guard said that no one entered their building at that time. Upon realizing what had just happened, Renzo hurriedly returned to Trinoma scared of thinking that the man might have returned for his friends and that something might have happened to them.

Little did Renzo know that from the time the Trinoma Security office was informed of the incident Renzo was already being paged constantly. The in-house detective of Trinoma decided to wait for Renzo at Seattle 's Best thinking that he would return there. True enough Renzo did return and upon seeing this scared boy the detective approached Renzo introduced himself and brought him safely to the Security Office.

Renzo and his classmate Ram was able to identify the man who was with them through the Security Camera of Olympic Village. This man was following them from the time they entered Olympic Village up to the time they went to Seattle's Best. He watched every move they made and made sure that the boys had no accompanying adults with them.

As soon as Olympic Village releases the picture of this man to us I will post it and make known to everyone the identity of this man who momentarily created fear in our lives. Angry? Yes I am angry; I want to knock-off this man should I see him. I am angry at myself for trusting my son will be safe on his own. I am disappointed that after all the serious talks I've had with my son on not talking to stranger's still he did not obey. As a parent no matter how much you want to protect your children, no matter how tight we pull the strings on them, our children will still continue to experience pain and still be careless at times.

The good news though was that my son, our sons, were spared and for that I am grateful to the Lord. I know I will have this constant fear over their personal safety; we can't be everywhere, we can't see everything, we can't know everything but the Lord can and sure enough my prayers were answered.

Please pass this on to everyone you know who has teenage children daring to explore on their own. Never mind if they get angry for not being allowed to be on their own but at least you are sparing them from this trauma. Also please do not allow your children to bring gadgets outside of their home as these serve as baits for hold-up.


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