Robbed outside BDO near Shaw Blvd.

I would like to share with you my friend’s experience yesterday outside Banco De Oro along Gen. Kalentong near Shaw Boulevard, so as to warn you and help you avoid this kind of incident in the future.

Banco De Oro BDO Shaw BlvdAt around 9:30am last Friday June 11, 2010, my friend Gem (not her real name) stepped out of Banco De Oro (BDO) along Gen. Kalentong and Shaw Blvd. after she had done some personal banking. She got into her car and started to back out of the bank’s parking space. Suddenly she heard a thud and heard a man talking animatedly outside her car. He was pointing to her rear left wheel. She got out of the car to check what happened. The man was wearing a T-shirt, jeans, and a knapsack slung across his chest. He looked like an ordinary guy, not in any way suspicious. My friend looked at her tire and the back of her vehicle and did not see anything amiss. She got back in the driver’s seat and started to drive away. When she looked at the passenger seat beside her, her whole bag was gone.

Apparently, when she stepped out of the car and went to check out what the guy was yapping about, an accomplice opened her car door on the passenger side and swiped her bag. Gem lost her bag which contained her wallet with IDs, cellphone, digital camera, and bank documents. Not good. The guard outside the bank wasn’t much help even if the incident did take place at BDO’s parking area fronting the bank’s main door. He did not see anything, as he did not even bother trying to help my friend back out of the busy sidestreet to maneuver safely onto Shaw Blvd.
Normally, when you’re inside the car, you’re much safer compared to someone who’s just walking on the street where bag snatching and similar crimes are concerned. But then these are hard times, and we have a lot of desperate people who would resort to just about anything just to get their hands on some fast cash. My friend is still fortunate though. She may have lost her bag but at least she was still able to go home safely to her husband and children.
Some time ago I shared my experience when my bag was stolen at a fast food joint. Just as there were lessons to be learned then, my friend’s experience also has its own set of lessons to impart:
  • When driving, if you are uncertain of what’s happening, do not under any circumstances get out of the car. This is especially true if you’re all by yourself. Drive away.
  • Do not stop or get out of the car for strangers. Let them shout, point, and babble outside the car. Drive away. When in doubt, drive to the nearest well-populated gas station or police station and inspect your car there.
  • If someone throws something at your car, drive away quickly without hesitation. Do not ever try to confront the person. This is usually just a diversionary tactic to try and get you out of the car.
  • If a stranger tries to block your path, run him over. I’m not kidding. Don’t give him any opportunity to do anything rash like draw a weapon or force you out of the car.
  • Do not leave valuables inside your car. I have friends who have had their car windows broken while parked.
  • Make sure you are already holding your car key before you get to where you’re parked. This is so you can get in right away and lock your doors. Fumbling for the key while standing right outside your car is a big no-no.
Remember that you are always safer inside the car compared to when you are all exposed outside. Let’s learn from each other’s experiences and keep safe.
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