Wherever you park your vehicles, be defensive and avoid people knocking on your window as two motorists in different cities here in South Metro Manila were victimized by a gang of thieves who executed what is referred to as the “laglag-plaka” (dropped plate) modus, according to a recent news report by GMA Network.
To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Tagalog GMA Network news report which was translated into English using Google Translate. Some parts in boldface…
Two drivers fell victim to the plaque-dropped modus operandi of thieves in Muntinlupa and Parañaque, Jonathan Andal reported in Unang Balita on Friday.
CCTV footage shows a man standing in the back of an SUV parked in front of a fast food chain in Parañaque. Three women with umbrellas followed him.
Although (it) could not (be seen on) the CCTV, the man knocked on the driver of the SUV and said that his license plate had fallen on the back.
While the driver was not yet leaving, a man was waiting in the back of a vehicle (parked beside) and when he saw the driver coming out, he quickly opened the passenger door.
The driver’s bag was stolen and handed over to a female colleague. The group quickly speared while the driver was left in the back of the vehicle and checked to see if his license plate had really fallen.
The group seized an expensive bag, wallet and 20,000 pesos, according to the report.
According to Parañaque Police, this modus operandi is called “laglag plaka”. The group allegedly was timing the vehicles and told the driver that something had fallen in the back of the vehicle.
Seven individuals were found conspiring in the modus and they use umbrellas to hide from people what they are doing.
After the incident in Parañaque, CCTV also captured the group in the parking lot of a building in Muntinlupa where they stole the victim’s gym bag and expensive earphones.
According to the victims, when they got out of the vehicle there were coins. They think they put them in to confuse and hold them back while removing the drivers ’valuables.
For added insight, watch this related news video below…
So there you have it! The “laglag-plaka” thieves work together as a group using strategic moves like distraction, careful timing, and taking advantage of unlocked vehicle doors to open and steal the valuables while the distracted driver checks the rear of the vehicle to see if the plate was indeed loose or had fallen off. It should be noted that the other gang members use umbrellas standing next to each other near the victim’s vehicle to conceal their act.
From a visual standpoint, I would find it suspicious to see at least three individuals each using an umbrella at the parking lot while it is not even raining. As for the parking area itself, if a person approaches your vehicle and he or she is not even a legitimate worker of the local administration assigned to the parking, better be defensive and watch not only your back but also the sides of your vehicle.
For your own safety, be mindful of people who approach you and knock on your vehicle’s window shortly after parking. Better not let these thieves distract you no matter what they do and always LOCK YOUR VEHICLE’S DOORS as soon you get off.
Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Are you a victim of the “laglag-plaka” gang?
You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.
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