Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Beware of Modus Operandi on Taxi Hold-ups

Please be careful in hailing taxis especially those in Pasig, Mandaluyong, and Quezon City. Beware of a slow-moving cab roaming around those areas. The hold-up modus operandi happens with the taxi stopping to get two other men who will get your valuables, even ATM cards so they can withdraw from these while you're inside the cab. After the stick-up, they'll leave you with Php 100 as "pamasahe." I don't believe they'll kill their victims but threaten them.

Received a warning email this morning with two stories of the modus' victims. Here's one of the experiences by a mother with her 6-year-old child in the incident at Robinson's Galleria.

Taxi Hold up @ Robinson's Galleria
September 28
730 PM to 830 PM

It is so hard for me to recollect my thoughts and put this into writing. The incident is still fresh in my mind and I haven't got over the shock of the most horrible, traumatic experience in my whole life. Sleep at this early hour of the morning seemed eluding my being. I decided to put this into writing to let everyone know to be extra careful in taking a taxi most especially at Ortigas, Robinsons Galleria.

Around 730PM my daughter and I, along with some friends left Jollibee, West Avenue Branch after attending the birthday celebration of the daughter of one of my colleagues. We took the MRT from Trinoma towards Ortigas. My daughter and I were already on our own as we alighted the train at Ortigas Station. We left the station and traverse the path going to Robinsons Galleria. Since I am with my daughter and we are quite tired of the long walk, I decided to take a taxi. We hailed a taxi, please take note of this, right in front of Robinsons Galleria that is facing Edsa, I haven't got the plate number since I have no inkling that a terrible thing is about to happen to us. In my mind, all I wanted is to go home and take a rest since it would be another hectic week ahead of us. I told the taxi driver "Sa Rosario Pasig ho". He turned right then along Ortigas, but just after a few minutes he told us to sit at the left most portion of the back seat as the tire at the other side is not in a good condition. It happened so fast we were just shocked and surprised when the driver suddenly stopped the car and two men went inside the taxi and begun telling us "hwag kayong mag-ingay kung ayaw nyong masaktan. My daughter (who is only 6 years old) and I panicked and screamed as I was trying to unlock the door. One thing caught my attention the car was dilapidated and there was no lock at the door! So there was no way out but pray for God's mercy. I tried calling my God please spare our lives! Save us from this very frightful situation. The man sitting next to the driver took my bag and began searching for my wallet and took the money which is around 2K to 3K. The man sitting at my right took my Sony Erricson cell phone and I requested if he could spare me my SIM card and he obliged.

While the man right next to the driver was searching my bag, I pleaded and beg them to release us saying "please maawa na kayo lalo na sa anak ko hindi po kami mayaman kunin nyo na lahat palabasin nyo lang kami dito." I remember we went around Julia Vargas passing Valle Verde "umiikot kami doon" then we passed along Medical City turning right towards North Edsa . While passing Edsa, that's along Camp Aguinaldo the other man at my right asked me to remove my rings, my wedding ring and the plain band, that's a gift from my husband. He also instructed me to remove my earrings, I told him "peke lang po ito" but he still took it. He also ask for the PIN number of my ATM (PCI) which I readily gave him but warned them that it is a payroll account and no amount was left on that account and I told them again "hindi po kami mayaman wala pong laman yan". Then the driver made a U turn that's driving along Camp Crame and he stopped the car in front of an establishment which I didn't get the chance to take note coz what concerns me is our safety and our escape from this terrifying situation. The man at my right gave me direction pointing to an alley between the business establishments instructing me to go straight without looking back or else we will be gunfired as they have colleagues on convoy. They gave us Php 100 for our fare back home. The possessions that they took from me are my money, atm, sony ericsson cellphone, watch and my jewelries.

Right at this point I am still having cold feet. The incident is still in my nerves. Only at this time I am experiencing the trauma of the whole incident. Surprisingly my whole demeanor during that time was I am in control of myself and the situation we were facing against our abductors but fear was still at the back of my mind. Iniisip ko ang anak ko. That I should be strong for her. Thank God no bladed weapons or guns were pointed on us we left physically unscathed. I thank God for giving us the chance to live again.

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