“IT HAPPENED so fast,” said Gillian Flores, a third-year Ateneo Law School student, as she recounted the traumatic ordeal.
Early morning last 4 June 2014, merely two days after the start of the school year, Flores became a victim of attempted snatching as she was walking in front of the BDO Rockwell branch, along Rockwell Drive. The incident happened while she was en route to her internship at Sycip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan in Paseo de Roxas, Makati City.
According to witnesses, an unknown male riding a motorcycle seized Flores’ handbag from behind, causing her to fall and be dragged a few feet. The bag, which contained all her valuables and other personal belongings, was not successfully taken. However, Flores suffered scrapes, abrasions and bruises, and was brought to The Medical City for treatment of her injuries.
The suspect fled on his motorcycle towards Kalayaan Avenue, and as of this writing, police officers are still unable to locate him.
The Makati City Police Station, which entered the incident in their police blotter, reported that motorcycle snatchers are now targeting students. It advised the public, students in particular, to make themselves difficult targets of opportunistic criminals.
Moreover, it also emphasized that everyone must be alert and aware of their surroundings at all times. People should also walk facing oncoming traffic; they have to carry their purses tightly under their arm and away from the curb in order to avoid motorcycle or car drive-by purse snatching.
Lastly, the police station issued a general reminder: While some thieves will back down at the sign of confrontation, others might be carrying a weapon; thus, when faced with a situation similar to the one mentioned above, it is important to act with extreme caution and to rather err on the side of personal safety. P