I have seen a lot of posts in my FB newsfeeds about different modus operandi happening in public transportations within the big metro. I have seen and heard news about pickpockets and groups of the them even holding up passengers in the cramped up MRT. A few years ago, a former colleague of mine was a victim of this. His newly bought iPhone then was stolen from him.
There was also a modus in the provincial buses, which I became a victim of. A couple of thieves will buy a ticket, rides the bus then observes passengers to identify those who are travelling alone. Then once they do, they will see who will leave their bags on the seat at the stopover. They will no longer get back in the bus if they were able to steal it.
At the same time, I’ve read another blog post about the “dura” gang who targets passengers within the city buses. From what I heard, what this group does is that one will sit beside you, another behind you and another one across. Someone will pour something icky on your back or shoulder. Then someone will tell you about it and will offer to help you clean it up. The one sitting beside you will then pick your bag or your pocket while you are distracted with cleaning up the mess.
A few weeks ago, I’ve read several posts about commuters being held up in cabs. It was said that the cab driver picks up a solo passenger. Then he will pick up his colleagues along the way. One will sit in front and one at the back. One will point a weapon at the passenger while the other will check the bags and get all valuables. They will ask for the victim’s ATM card and will withdraw whatever they can. Then they will drop the passenger off elsewhere. But before they do, they will advise passengers not to look back, not to make any scene, scream or run. Else, they will shoot.
Unfortunately, a work colleague of mine fell victim to this modus last night. And to think that she went home an hour earlier than I did. From what I heard, they took her phones, jewelries and cash. It was a good thing that she had the presence of mind not to try to fight them off. The cab had child lock on the passenger doors and one of the guys pointed a gun at her forehead.
I have been taking the cab going to and from work for several years now. With all the modus going on in almost all of the public transportations in the big metro, my paranoia level has been skyrocketing to high levels. I never really minded these kinds of incidents when it was just me. But when I had little Z, my outlook became different. The the-devil-may-care attitude that I used to have had to be somewhat curbed. I have to be more cautious and can’t be the impulsive person that I have been.
I learned how to fear for my safety, too. The cab modus is the reason why I have been texting my colleague the plate number of the cab I ride on going home. I have been doing this exercise for several weeks now. The thing is, it still does not guarantee safety when you really think about it. Even if the commute from my office to my apartment is only about 10 minutes, a lot of things can still happen. Just thinking about the possibilities makes me nervous.
So with all of these crimes happening, it really makes me think how I will travel to wherever I am going since nothing seems safe anymore. Guess I really have to think about saving up for my own car again. Just to take out part of the paranoia that I feel everytime I think about how cruel and frightening our world has become.