Pickpockets At The Cuneta Astrodome

* I never really felt unsafe at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay, despite the presence of all those seedy characters scalping tickets in that area. That was the case, until this evening, when I had my wallet picked at that goddamn venue after watching Game 1 of the the Red Bull vs. Purefoods Semi-finals series. I lost about P1.3k of hard-earned cash, P1k of which I had allocated to pay for my credit card bills.

‘Modus Operandi’

* The seats below the gallery was filled about 95% for the game, but when Red Bull ended up behind by 20 + pts. w/ only 2 min. to go in the game, a lot of people were making a beeline for the exit. I don’t know exactly how the pickpockets got my wallet, but there are 2 possibilities;

* First, as we I was heading for the exit while still inside the stadium, some jerk from the Lower Box seat suddenly shouted at the court, “Hoy kalbo, umupo ka na, kanina ka pa dyan!”. I’m not bald, so I knew it wasn’t intended at me, probably inside the playing court. I did find it strange why somebody would shout such nonsense in such a loud voice, because I did get distracted. Looking back, that shout could’ve probably been meant to distract not only the victims, but also the people who could’ve observed the crime taking place. In that second where everybody got distracted, somebody probably bumped me & took my wallet.

* Its a variation of the “Laglag Barya” modus operandi, where instead of dropping coins to distract people, they used a shout.

* The 2nd way they could’ve gotten my wallet, was near the exit. There was a bottleneck as the people were going out because the people manning the gates only opened the gates partially so only a few people could pass thru at one time. The people behind me could’ve just easily siddled up to me, bumped me a little, then got my wallet.

* Now, I don’t want to make accussations here, but there is the possibility that those gates were intentionally opened only partially to help create that crowded effect as the people were going out.

‘Lessons Learned’

* This incident has dampened somewhat my enthusiasm for watching the PBA games live. If I ever do get around to watching the games live again, I’ll make sure to take extra precautions, like putting my wallet on my front instead of back pocket. I urge those who hasn’t been practicing it yet to do so right away.

* This incident seems to confirm what other people have been saying all along, like how much of a shi_hole Pasay really has become these days. I remember watching the Christmas day games at the Araneta Coliseum just last month, & the place was even more crowded than then, & yet I didn’t get my wallet picked there.

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