Marcos Highway car robberies

A friend of mine recently fell victim to notorious robbers in the vicinity of Marcos Highway in Antipolo City. The robbers took advantage of the time when most people were solemnly focused on the Sunday mass that was going in a village chapel just near the gate of one of the subdivisions along Marcos Highway. When my friend and her family went back to the car, she found  that her car’s rear window on the right side was smashed in. Three bags (hers, her sister’s, and her son’s) and a Rudy Project shades were taken.

Apparently, this modus operandi has been going on for quite some time now. My officemate said that it was featured on TV news. Five people are involved in this operation. One is the lookout. The second one kicks the tire of the target car to check if it has an active alarm. The third uses an instrument that will “slice” the outline of the window. The fourth one will smash the window, while the fifth person takes out whatever they can get hold of from inside. All of these happen in a matter of seconds.

My friend took a few days to process her police report from the Antipolo police station. They had to come back several times because the officer handling her case is always out. No one else was able to help because for some reason, only that one particular officer has the documents of the case. Talk about swift and efficient public service from people who are supposed to protect us!

Because of those times that she had to come back and forth for the police report, my friend found out that three more similar incidents occurred along the same highway after her case. Since this modus operandi has already been reported by media, it means that there is enough number of cases to merit progress in the investigation (if there is one being done). My question is this: if the police are already aware of this modus operandi happening in the same area right under their noses for quite a number of times already, what is taking them this long to catch these robbers?

Here’s the strange thing about my friend’s case. A couple of days after the robbery, a man went to a bank branch to return a plastic bag containing all of my friend’s plastic cards (credit card, ATM, etc.), IDs, and car keys (not hers). It also included another person’s credit card. That bank is where my friend’s sister works (though not in that particular branch). So when the tellers asked the guy to wait for the sister as they tried to call her, the guy couldn’t wait and left.

Shy samaritan? I don’t think so. It’s too much of a coincidence for him to bring those lost stuff to that particular branch. The plastic cards were from different banks. Why choose that particular bank where my friend’s sister works to “return” some of the stolen stuff?

Here’s another puzzle: do robbers throw away plastic cards and IDs and keep the wallet with the money? It’s usually just the money, right? Then they throw away the rest. Obviously, these guys are amateurs — not so smart and techie enough to go to great lengths of maxing out the credit cards for themselves. Then again, they got a lot from my friend’s car, so I’ll give it to them — they are gutsy (okay, and a little smart if only because they got away with it).

So let me repeat my question earlier, in another way: is it really that difficult to catch these types of (simple-minded) robbers?

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