Criminals nowadays come up with a variety of tricks and schemes to score a little extra cash or loot. A lot of these tricks seem very obvious when we’re only reading about it or hearing about it from a friend. However (being once a victim myself) , trust me when I say that when you are in the moment, they have ways of manipulating you and distracting you, keeping you from thinking straight. They bombard you with questions, facts, etc. that you somehow forget for a split second what was going on. That split second is all they need.
This modus operandi is not new. I’ve heard it happen to several friends in the past, however, it is important that we be aware of this and warn, especially the teens.
Melissa G. shares her horrifying experience in a mall in Quezon City last July 19, 2015:
“Raphy and I dropped of Franco (14 years old) at the dentist around 2:40pm.
Raphy and I went to Payless to check out shoes when I got a text from Franco asking me where I was. I called him and i heard him say that “Ate, its an emergency” I heard a guy on the other line saying that he needed to turn off his phone. I kept trying to reach him again but it was already turned off.
My brother was approached by this man in the photo and was hypnotized and lead out of the mall. He was told that he was a Kagawad and was a suspect in a crime. This photo was taken as they were exiting the mall.
Franco said that as they exited the mall a tomboy joined them by BDO across the mall and led him further away. They were joined by another man almost near Broadway. They took his Ipad and mobile phone and left him somewhere.
My brother saw a police man and asked for help and the barangay tanod brought him back to the mall where I was waiting anxiously.
Please spread the word so that other children will be more careful not to trust anyone.”
In a follow up interview, Melissa shares that there were a total of 3 men that time, all of whom got away.
We’re glad that Franco was left unharmed. The man got Franco to follow him because he claimed he was an authoritative figure, which probably scared the kid when he was accused of stealing. Please warn your children about this and teach them what to do in certain situations. If in a mall, there will always be security guards, teach your children to approach the guards if anyone (especially one not in uniform) approaches them.