We all know the closest mall in our subdivision which is SM Fairview. Kahapon kasi me and my friend were in SM Fairview’s new building, the wide area where various mall activities are held. It’s between the new ACE hardware and Hypermart Entrance. There was a yellow sports car there that attracts many people to stop and take photos. Unfortunately, there is a group of bag or backpack slashers on standby. I was wearing a new backpack that is placed behind my back while I was taking photos of the sports car. My friend is beside me enjoying the view. Buti nalang, I always had the instinct of being aware of the number of crowds coming. I felt that there are 2-3 young men whispering behind me na parang they are standing so close behind me. So I suddenly look back and saw them like having a casual laugh - pa simpleh. I immediately check my bag zippers and ok naman siya. Having doubted, I held my friend and left the area quickly. When we were in French Baker, I noticed a slanting ’slash’ in the pocket area of my new backpack! After then, I remember na suspicious men in the sports car area. I was thinking of reporting to the guards to watch close those men kasi they might be still there waiting to victim other spectators. Kaso my friend is tired na to go back kasi malayo na kami.
The sad thing is - there was a mall security guard on standby very close to the sports car! What I remember he was looking to everyone taking photos so akala ko safe. At first, the suspicious men were having ‘ kulitan’ na you won’t know sino talaga mga kasama nila kasi they are standing close the crowd. Ang description nila, naka-shorts some of them, average height, may bigote and parang pedicab drivers ang porma. Pero we cannot be sure pa rin when it comes to their description kasi I read lots of blogs of various instances sa SM Fairview na some of them look respectable, wearing formal attires, minsan parang sosyal na magbabarkada.
I regret of not reporting to the mall guards so I am sharing it with you. Extra ingat mga kapitbahays. Be alert with your belongings. Stay away from the crowd especially places that gets your attention. Hold your bags or backpacks on your chest. Avoid talking to strangers. Don’t count your money in the ATM area. Be aware of people walking or standing too close to you. Place your cellphone and wallet in your pocket. Never trust looks! Anyone could be a suspect.
Sa security system ng SM Fairview…don’t count on them! Kapa-kapa lang and you’re in the mall. They should have a customer center to report various crimes happening and take action. I’m sure their management is very much aware of the various stealing incidents but afraid to admit. Why? They don’t want to cause fear to their shoppers because it will affect their earnings. I remember Ben Tulfo’s Bitag had a segment about SM Fairview modus operandi but in the end, SM management refuse to cooperate.
I hope they would post a big banner about customer safety against pickpockets and bag slashers in front of every mall entrances. These way of reminding mall visitors to be alert all the time.