By Jennifer P. Rendon
The problem of illegal drugs still remains the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO)’s focus of operations.
But it doesn’t mean that other forms of criminalities, including petty ones, are being put aside, ICPO spokesperson Major Shella Mae Sangrines said.
Sangrines was referring to incidents of petty street crimes, particularly snatching and pickpocketing incidents in the metropolis.
In fact, she said that Colonel Joeresty Coronica, Iloilo City police chief, has already ordered station commanders to run after snatchers and pickpockets.
From Jan. 1 to March 9, 2023, ICPO recorded 40 theft incidents.
Sangrines said the majority of these cases involved “salisi,” or a modus operandi wherein thieves rob their victims while they are distracted or not attentive to their belongings.
Tailing salisi are shoplifting, pickpocketing, and snatching incidents.
Sangrines said Jaro district topped the most number of theft cases, followed by Mandurriao, and City Proper.
Molo and La Paz districts are both fourth while Arevalo has the least number with only a single theft incident.
Only four robbery cases were reported in the said period.
“That’s why we are strengthening our awareness campaign and intelligence efforts,” Sangrines said.
She added that these street criminals do not target a specific demographic.
“They are looking for opportunity. When they see one, they strike,” Sangrines said.
It appeared that the suspects would most likely pick out a mobile phone as their loot of choice.
Meanwhile, Sangrines warned the public against buying stolen items.
She said that it is a violation of Presidential Decree 1612 or the “Anti-Fencing Law”
The crime of fencing punishes the act of buying, receiving, possessing, or selling an item that a person knows, or should know, was derived from the proceeds of robbery or theft.