“This is a hold-up!” and other stolen tales

Makko’s adventures in: Quezon City

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No blog posts that much recently. These coming months however, I believe that you would be hearing more adventures, thoughts, and some science stuff. Transitions had been coming like endless ripples (cue dramatic music) – resignation from a job, an accomplished research, continuation of graduate studies, a heart that still hurts so much… Anyway, stuff to think and share, so that me and you, would have lots to ponder and wonder (badabum tss!).

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If you had been drawn to reading this because of the title, maybe you:

– were a victim of some hold-up or robbery;

– know of someone who had been held-up or burglarized;

– are concerned citizen that wants to change the world into a better place (yeah! oh right!);

– have nothing else to do, and just clicked randomly until you ended up here;

– (or just simply) are all of the above.

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Thoughts on stealing

When I was eight years old, there was a time when I discovered where my maternal grandmother kept her cash inside her room. Since no one could enter her room without reason or permission, I would tell her that I would borrow something inside (usually the nail cutter) in order to get in the room. And yes, I would go in the room to find the nail cutter, and get out of the room with the nail cutter, and something else. When I would tell her that I would be returning the borrowed item, it gave me another chance to reach inside the black leather pouch, grab some coins and bills, and excitedly yelling silently, “Yeah, I’m not caught! Another one tomorrow.”

Tsk tsk, I was a naughty kid back then, and looking back, I wish I could give myself a real good disciplinary butt-slapping for those eeevil things I did. On the other hand, maybe I’m still naughty (if you know what I mean)… but I’m JUST KIDDING, okay!? (badabum tss!)

I’m thankful that my mother and grandmother eventually found out, and guided me in order that I would not get sucked into the dark side (cue Darth Vader breathing).

Culturally, aside from family virtues, folks at my mother’s place would say that getting something that is not yours, or obtaining something you have not worked for is “inayan” or “lawa.” These concepts essentially mean taboo, because such acts cause inconveniences and damages to others, or maybe even endanger another person’s life in general. Worse, stolen items are cursed. When used or eaten, you are cursed as well since such things are not meant for you, but for the person who owns such property.

Much worse, you are still liable even if you do not know that such item is stolen and you are using it or eating it. A case in point: One fine day, while an uncle was on his teens and on his way to the fields, he saw two friends roasting a chicken in the woods. Since the chicken was nearly cooked, these friends invited him to join the feast. He grew suspicious however as he got nearer, since a lot of canned goods and other store items were placed nearby. He asked them where they got such things but these friends simply answered that they got it somewhere. So once that chicken was done, he partook of it.

Upon returning home, he saw old men preparing a cursing ritual to punish thieves that stole chickens and some store goods. He then asked the old men if such curse would only affect the thieves. The old men answered that everyone involved, including those who ate the stolen food stuff will also be somewhat cursed (or maybe cursed in a level similar with the thieves). My uncle then narrated how he saw two friends, roasting chicken somewhere in the woods. The burglars were eventually caught, no cursing ritual took place, and the story ends.

Getting something that is not yours is a big NO WAY! And friends who do such things should be advised to mend their ways in order to avoid the inevitable curse of karma.

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Correlating occurrences of theft in the Philippines and…

Enrollment periods

It is said that hold-uppers are very much abound during enrollment months. Studies  financed by parents or relatives who are thieves, maybe? Or folks just simple know that money is all around during such times?

Election time

Financing campaigns require a lot of resources. Those tarpaulins and leaflets brought using stolen cash maybe?

Yuletide season and festivals

Cursed lechon (a type of Filipino roasted pork) roasting in an open fire

Jack pointing a knife on your nose.

Hold-up being sung by his accom-plices

And them thieves dressed up like everyone else

Just like my cousin, who was recently victimized by what she said, were jejemon-dressed men? It happened while they were inside a jeepney along Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City, at THREE o’clock in the afternoon. Tsk tsk!

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So what to do? Aside from other practical tips

Just take what you need. Especially when traveling, taking with you just the right amount of cash, only the gadgets that you really, really, essentially and necessarily need, and the things that are enough for you to survive, not only allows you to travel lightly, but also decreases your anxiety of being preyed upon by hold-uppers.

If anything happens, always report it to the police! Although I understand that the average Pinoy has a below average trust for policemen due to reasons too many to mention, reporting crime occurrences to police is one of the most important things you can do.

It is very important to report any news of crime for the police to record it on a police blotter (a record book of crime incidences). Believe it or not, the Philippine National Police rely on reported data to come up with estimates of crime rates, nature of crimes committed in spatial (area, place) and temporal (time) scales, and other necessary information for guiding police visibility and action. Although the problem, MAYBE and ME ASSUMING, is whether our police force all over the Philippines can rely on such reports or just some other “reported” data.

In the field of research, data is yet again very crucial. As such, a robust police blotter arising from properly documented crime incidence reports is essential for: predicting future occurrences of crime; identifying crime hotspots; and in general, provide plans for minimizing future crime. Predicting crime ala Minority Report or Numb3rs could indeed be done using data from police blotters.

And so in conclusion? Don’t dress too fly, and always report crime incidences to your nearest police station. Not tomorrow, but today!

/139-msdm

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