Motorcycle Modus in Caloocan City: Hit and Extort
The Christmas spirit is already in the air now that the Ber months are here. Unfortunately, our fellow countrymen are also thinking of new ways to extort money from car owners. On October 23, 2014, I was travelling along Heroes Del 96 Street in Caloocan City (near University of the East in Samson Road, Caloocan City). The road was pretty bad as I hit the brakes before a hole and a hump along the road.
There was this motorcycle rider without a plate number and under registration with the LTO (Yamaha Brand) in front of me who also slowed down as he approached the hump. Suddenly, he tried to avoid the fall to the left as he went off-balance because of the bad pavement. Then he stopped and stared at me in a very bad way. I wondered what happened because I did not feel any bump on my car and I’m pretty sure I did not hit his motorcycle.
Heroes Del 96 Street in Caloocan City
Bystanders then came from the side. I didn’t bother to get out of the car because I knew I did not hit him. As people gathered around my car, I realised that things might get bad and one of the “gang leaders” came to me and asked me to talk to the “victim”. I had no choice but to talk to him as I knew this wouldn’t get anywhere if I still refused to step out of the car.
That’s when they began to make up stories, pretending that they saw what happened – that I bumped the motorcycle and the victim went out of balance because of it. I was in a bit of a panic and forgot to take pictures of the scene and the motorcycle unit as I feared that the bystanders might rob me of my belongings. I took the pictures of the scene the day after the incident instead.
Accident Location. Take a good look at the hump; it is designed to let you fall first before going up the hump.
The “victim” kept scratching his head as he didn’t know what to do with his motorcycle. He kept talking to me, asking “paanu na?” (now what?). I told him there was no damage on my bumper. I even ran my hands on my front bumper and found no scratch nor dents. I tried to look at the rear of his motorcycle and there was no damage, either. He told me to take a good look and still I didn’t see any problem. Then he showed me his mud guard had been sucked into the wheel. I was shocked. How on earth could that even happen when travelling at a mere 2-3 kph? And even if I did bump the mud guard, the chances of it getting sucked inside are very slim unless I was travelling at a faster rate.
The bystanders began to tell stories about him hitting the bottom of my bumper and that’s when I shouted at them. “Kung wala kayo magawa dyan sa tabi, wag na kayo gumawa ng story ninyo. Kami nagaareglo dito at huwag na kayo makialam, puwede ba?” (If you don’t have anything to do, don’t make up stories. We are haggling to a common agreement, please do not bother us, okay?)
Another clear shot of the accident place.
I started to recall the Bigas Car Gang Scam incident, which was pretty similar to this one. The victim pretends to get hit and extorts money from you. So, I told him I would give him Php300 to buy a replacement and he said that would only buy him a fake one, not an original YAMAHA one. Then he asked for Php1,000, which I said was too much. After all, I had bought 4 mudguards for my car at only Php1,200. As we haggled down, he extorted Php500 from me.
The place where the bystanders are hiding before the accident happened.
I am an engineer by profession. As I recalled the incident later that night, I realised that the mudguard was perfectly bended inside. It should have been twisted or broken in some way. Lesson learned: try not to tailgate the vehicle in front of you. Keep a distance of around 1 meter at the very least. I was not even tailgating him and yet I got scammed.
My hand drawing illustration of what the mud guard of the motorcycle looked like assumed that it got bumped by me
When in Manila, be informed of new scams around the Metro! Be smarter than the scams and scammers out there to protect yourself and your family!