Another post of a revived modus operandi with the use of ketchup made rounds online just days after another commuter shared her experience.
The previous incident occurred near the bus terminals in Buendia in Makati. This time, it was in Cubao in Quezon City.
Commuter Jane Lopez Fetalino first posted this on July 12 and it soon got shared more than 31,000 times.
Fetalino recalled she was walking toward the terminal of UV Express vehicles outside the Gateway mall at Cubao in Quezon City at 10 p.m. of July 11.
Kahapon lang may nabasa akong post about sa bagong modus ngayon. Ketchup gang daw. Di ko inexpect na sakin din mismo…
A man came up behind her and inquired: “Miss anong nangyare sayo?! May dugo ka sa damit mo!”
Having read of the con before, Fetalino knew it was being attempted on her.
The so-called ketchup gang would smear the condiment on an unsuspecting passenger or commuter before stealing his valuables.
Rather than face the man or check on his claim, Fetalino walked faster while hugging her bag.
She was then relieved when a UV Express van was about to arrived. She hailed and took it.
“Dire diretso ako ng lakad. Binilisan ko maglakad. I tried to be calm kahit na sasabog na dibdib ko sa kaba. Hindi na ako lumingon. Hindi ko din tiningnan kung talaga bang may dugo yung damit ko. Hindi kona alam kung sumunod pa sya,” she said.
“Basta ang huling narinig ko “Hui Miss yung damit mo” Kaya lalo ko binilisan lakad ko. Yakap yakap ko yung bag ko. Then luckily, may dumaan na FX kaya pinara ko agad. Buti na lang nagsakay sya dahil usually di naman nagsasakay doon. Dahil sa terminal na pinupuno,” she added.
She was only able to check on her clothes when she reached home. She attached a photo of the ketchup stain to her post.
Fetalino then advised fellow commuters to be alert and aware of their surroundings to avoid being a victimm of theft.
“Wag po kayo magpapa distract pag may lumapit sainyo dahil dudukutan nila kayo or kung ano pa man. Wag nyo silang pansinin hanggat maari. Dahil pag pinansin mo sila mawawala kana sa focus at ulirat mo. Kaya ingat po tayo lagi,” she said.
This group was first reported in 2015 and mostly targeted commuters inside buses plying the areas of Makati and Manila.
There are no reported arrests of their members so far.
The Philippine National Police previously warned that there are many types of “organized crimes” in the streets.
Commuters are therefore advised to keep guard their variables while in public, particularly in crowded or dimly lit areas.