Be extra careful this Holiday Season.
A Las Piñas resident was almost victimized by a suspected Budol-Budol gang member in a mall in Las Piñas and wrote about it on her Facebook account.
Please read Alice Togonon’s tale below so this won’t happen to you:
I honestly thought I was invincible until this happened to me yesterday.
I went to SM Center (Las Piñas) to buy something.
Just as I was about to step on the walkalator, a kind-looking old man made way for me, so I smiled at him. Then suddenly he stood beside me on the walkalator going up.
Out of nowhere he started to lecture me to beware of thieves and snatchers because I am wearing a backpack and my stuff might get stolen.
Hearing this, automatically I thought of him as a concerned man, which is good because Christmas is just around the corner and maybe he’s just spreading good vibes.
When we reached the second floor, I bid goodbye to him as we will part ways already…. that’s what I thought.
He started following me, then asked for my name and he told me his. Then asked me random questions like if I’m with someone, what will I buy and etc. We were talking while we stroll the row of boutiques in the area.
But here’s the catch. HE WAS HOLDING ME THE ENTIRE TIME, AS IF HE’S SCARED I’LL RUN AWAY FROM HIM. He held me by the arm, and shoulder and hand. Alternately.
Take note: It’s my first time meeting him and I don’t know him.
I told him couple times that he don’t need to hold me cos I can manage. But he insisted.
Plus he’s very persistent and kept convincing me to go with him to Divisoria because mapapamahal lang daw ako sa SM.
So sige pa rin sya sa pagkwento na sasamahan nya raw ako. Then I asked kung wala ba syang ibang kasama, and baka may iba pa syang lakad…wala daw, and ok lang daw na matagalan sya “basta ako”.
Ayaw nya parin ako bitawan this time, so narealize ko na iba na ‘to. I thought of a way to escape him.
Sabi ko mag-cr lang ako.
Suddenly gusto nya rin daw mag-cr. So I entered the woman’s restroom, then tumayo lang ako dun banda sa may door kasi balak ko pag pumasok na sya sa men’s restroom, tatakbo na ko. But hindi sya pumasok. Dun lang sya sa may pinto lang din ng cr, which makes it obvious na inaabangan nya ako.
So iba na talaga kutob ko.
Nagtagal ako sa cr ng I think 15 mins, nag-iisip ng way para makalabas ng di nya nahahalata. E konti lang tao, so mapapansin talaga nya ako if lumabas ako.
So what did I do?
I asked a random girl na nag-memakeup inside to help me. I told her about what happened…about the old man na ayaw akong bitawan and sinasama ako sa Divisoria, and na inaabangan ako sa labas.
She was kind enough to help me. She held my hand as we went out the restroom together. The old man, seeing this, was suprised.
Napanganga sya and he said, “Ay? May kasama ka na?” Then I ignored him and walked fast with the girl away from him.
As it turns out, yung girl is nagwowork sa BNY, a branded clothing line and I think it’s beside Photoline. So pinapasok nya muna ako dun and we talked about what happened.
I was scared and panicking that time…she even convinced me to report it to the guards.
I hesitated because I don’t have any evidence on hand, ni hindi ko na napicturan yung old man kasi ang bilis ng pangyayari and I know how people will doubt you and find it hard to believe you lalo pag wala ka namang maipakitang evidence.
A few minutes passed by and yung old man, dumaan right in front of BNY boutique. Di nya ako nakita dahil busy sya dahil may iba na ulit syang kausap at sinusundan. So because of that, I conclude na meron syang modus.
I think he’s part of some budol gang or syndicate. Magaling syang makipag-usap, and talagang icoconvince ka nya na sumama sa kanya. And habang kinakausap ka nya he needs to hold any part of you para di ka makawala and possibly para “umepekto” yung pambubudol nya.
I’m lucky he wasn’t able to take me or else I don’t know where I’ll be right now, or if I’ll still be alive or not.
So just a reminder dun sa palaging nagpupunta sa SM Center LP or kahit saan, WAG NA WAG talagang makikipag-usap sa strangers na lalapit sayo and magkukwento ng kung ano ano hanggang sa mawili ka.
If you can, magmaldita or ignore the person nalang. If nagtanong if may kasama ka, say yes kahit na wala naman talaga. If ayaw pa rin tumigil sa kakasunod sayo or sa kakatanong, go to the nearest guard that you can see and magsumbong.
Obviously, these gang or syndicate target people na walang kasama.
P.S. His physical appearance is chubby, nakasalamin and is wearing a cap. Also I think he’s on his late 60’s.
Lastly, he looks very kind. Don’t be deceived by his maamo face.
And also sabi nya nasa SM Center LP sya every weekend. At pag wala daw syang na-ano, sa ibang lugar naman daw sya lumilipat. He said this himself. But he didn’t specify what he meant by “na-ano” so just those words alone makes him suspicious already.
So mag-ingat and I don’t think he’s alone. I think may mga kasabwat sya na nag-aabang lang rin sa target area nila.
Regardless of the intent, let us all be more mindful of our surroundings especially this Holiday Season as more crooks are out to take advantage of the huge crowds in malls.
Take care out there, everyone!