Last week, I was invited to Taylor Lautner’s press conference for BENCH at the Makati Shnagri-La ballroom.
I consider myself very careful about my belongings and placed my bag behind my seat.
But during all the excitement, I didn’t notice that my bag had fallen to the carpet with my wallet right next to it.
Good thing all the guests and staff were decent and none of my things disappeared.
But when my friend Jude had his bag stolen from a chair he was sitting next to at a Quezon City restaurant, I felt bad for him as though I was the one who lost a Margiela bag, a cellphone, and Mommy’s wallet with Php 15,000 inside.
Why was he carrying that much cash?
Jude was supposed to pay his bills. But the good friend and kaladkarin in him made him accompany our journalist friend to visit their schoolmate’s new restaurant instead.
How do bags disappear from right under your nose, or on the seat next to you, even though you feel protected by a wall?
Check out these two CCTV videos taken at McDonalds’ restaurants in Quezon City and Dau.
In this first video, the victims are on the left, while the thieves are on the right, aided by a man on a cellphone, who drops two bills (pesos and a dollar) and asks the people on the left if it is theirs.
When the couple checks out the bills, the thieves on the right snatch the bag right from the hole in the wall dividing them.
Be very aware of modus operandi where snatchers drop a bunch of coins to divert everyone’s attention, allowing accomplices to grab the bags of victims. This diversion method is also known as salisi.
In this next video, the victim is on the left with her bag placed on a seat next to her.
The thief takes the seat behind the bag, while a man with cellphone covers the scene of the crime.
Watch as the bag gets snatched, while the salisi gang disappears quickly.
So please be careful with your bags. Be careful even when seated in a booth or next to the wall. Make sure your bags are always in front of you. Hold on to a strap, even if it’s in your grocery cart. Be extra vigilant when there is a commotion around you.