Stolen Laptops, Car Robberies in Ortigas Center, The Fort

      38 Comments on Stolen Laptops, Car Robberies in Ortigas Center, The Fort


Ryan Soriano Does Not Return Stolen Macbook Pro, Betrays Trust

Marc Macalua saw someone selling his stolen Macbook Pro on PhilMUG and various for-sale sites. After pointing this out to the poster, user djwoblely, who was identified as Ryan Soriano, a meeting to retrieve the laptop was arranged. Unfortunately, Mr. Soriano was a no-show for the March 24 meeting.

News on losing a laptop or a gadget does not really hit me as hard as when a friend is the victim. In just a span of a week, three of my friends were victimized. Let’s hear their stories.

1. Liz post on Be Paranoid: Car Robberies at The Podium and The Fort where three laptops were stolen from a car trunk on Friday the 13th.

Last night, Marco lost his new Macbook Pro, which he got not more than a month ago for P100,000. He left it in the car trunk of a friend, which was parked by The Podium in Ortigas. They left the parking lot at 9pm for dinner and came back 1am which is when they discovered that the trunk was broken in and three laptops were stolen, including his friend’s Macbook Air (this sells for P80,000 each) and a Dell laptop .

2. Pau’s Robbery at MC Home Depot, Fort Bonifacio where his HP Pavillion Laptop, Canon Powershot G10, Nikon D40 DSLR and Sun Broadband Wireless modem were stolen after his car window got broken into.

Let me repeat the fact that I was parked no more than 20 meters away from the guard. And my window was equipped with tempered glass. It would need repeated bangings to break the window in. Either the guard was very oblivious that he wasn’t able to hear or see anything, or he was in on the whole operation.

3. Jane’s Entry on Watch Your Laptops! (New MO by Salisi Gang). Jane’s husband, a lawyer and their Indian client held their meeting at Pancake House on the ground floor of Malayan Plaza (Ortigas Complex) on March 10. The laptop of the Indian client was snatched right in front of their table.

They were absorbed in conversation when 2 men from a nearby table passed behind the client. What happened next was related by another diner who saw everything but thought the 2 men were part of hubby’s party.

As both men passed behind the client, one of them used his foot and kicked the bag towards his companion who stooped to pick it up. They made sure that they positioned themselves so that hubby and lawyer, who were in their line of sight, would not see the bag being picked up. They then exited Pancake House in the opposite direction of the diner-witness. As soon as the diner saw them running off with the bag, he realized it was a robbery and alerted the group of hubby. By that time though, the robbers had escaped using a motorcycle parked at the corner street.

Imagine all in a span of 4 days and happening to friends you know!? Do you see a pattern?

1. Two of these happened right in front of possible witnesses and did not realize it was a robbery. In the case of the guard in MC Home Depot, he might have even been an accessory.

2. Laptops are hot items. (duh!)

3. Guarded parking spaces are not safe.

4. Your gadgets can get lost right in front of your friends. Think Salisi gang.

How do we prevent future victims?

1. Before purchasing a second-hand laptop or gadget, verify if the seller is really the owner. Ask for the box, official receipt or other proof. Victims should search online buy and sell forums like if their laptops are being sold there.

Incidentally, if you want to help Marco recover his macbook pro, here is how you can help.

If you happen to see a Macbook Pro on sale or have bought one without a box, manual, and drivers, please check the serial number.

1.6 MacBook Air Intel Chipset
Serial No: YD9011AZY51

2.4ghz Unibody MacBook Pro
Serial No: W88522KH1G0

Dell XPS M1210
Serial No: GS9LM1S
We’re willing to offer a reward for this information as well.

2. Never leave any valuable items inside the car not even the car trunk. Fact is, the robbers have a way to open a car’s trunk.

3. Jane suggests to “always be aware of our surroundings, observe people sitting close by and consider sitting in a place that could deter crime. Sitting close to the exit is not advisable as this makes theft too easy.”

4. Lizette further suggests to “Blog about this incident and spread the word. This isn’t only to help Marco and Pau recover their rightful belongings but also to help other people avoid the same fate. It seems to be a modus operandi by some group. People should be aware and be paranoid about leaving their stuff in cars or bringing out their gadgets in public. Upscale shopping places are no longer safe, if they ever were to begin with. ”

Laptops, cameras and other gadgets are not just expensive or luxury items to covet. They are a necessity and a tool of our trade. Let’s help each other to prevent being another victim of these Salisi gang or plain robbers.

Do you know of other stories on stolen laptops, or car robberies. Please share so we are aware of the modus operandi .

Other Modus Operandi

1. An Inside Job at the Condo

Marc Macalua in his plurk mentioned that he lost his Macbook Pro last October 2008. His laptop was recently featured at where the serial number got posted. Marc hopes that ” kumanta tong suspect so we get an idea kung saan talaga bagsakan ng mga laptops”

(Updated: Stolen MBP from Philmug Member, djwoblely aka “Ryan Soriano” MBA student at DLSU and part time DJ )
Marc Maclua sends a Letter to Ryan Soriano .

Marc’s neighbor was also a victim. Read his comment below.
(Edit- March 16)

I used to be a neighbor of Marc Macalua. I rented one floor above him. We were victims of the same burglars. Based on my own investigation, I found out that the burglaries happened simultaneously, just a few minutes or an hour apart, in the afternoon when there was no day shift security. I also suspected that it was an inside job. Someone in the building is connected to an organized group who does that for a living because when I investigated further, lots of other burglaries came up in the same location. I wasted no time sending a letter of complaint to the building owner with the intention that an action be taken. I was glad that a day shift security was soon deployed even if my request to cut short my lease was also approved. I couldn’t live there anymore knowing that burglaries are rampant there, especially after having talked to a tenant who got burglarized a few days after Marc and I did. And according to the tenant it was the 2nd time that it happened to her. Now, whether she’s telling the truth or playing the victim to elude suspicion is another matter. All I know is that the incidents there are all inside jobs.

2. Pretending to be Service personnel from Globelines Broadband

Though my laptop and other gadgets were not stolen, let me just share with you an incident that happened to my home. My neighbors got robbed and it got so bad that the village has now a police outpost by the Homeowner’s office.

A few weeks ago, a text message from my trusted helper nearly freaked me out. She asked “should I let the Globe people inside? They are here to fix the modem”. I called her right away “No…I didn’t have it fixed. Our modem is perfectly fine.” Our maid said that the service guys talked to me earlier in the morning. ( I found out they talked to my daughter so my daughter being clueless, didn’t bother checking with me)

As we were talking over the phone, the “Globelines” guy left probably sensing that I could smell bullshit. Our maid then related that the “Globelines” guy came in a motorcyle (which raised her suspicions because they always come in a van) and they showed her my name with my Globelines number in a faded paper. I was lucky but not our neighbors. Even a colonel got hoodwinked.

Naturally, robbers associate internet connection with computers. I think this guy got the list of names from the old Globelines contractor. So be careful. They sound legitimate. They even had an ID card. Much later, I called Globelines to report them of this incident and of course, I confirmed there was no such order to fix my modem.

Lesson learned:

1.1 Never allow internet service personnel into your homes unless by appointment.

2.1 Never allow anyone into your homes no matter how legitimate the request. Call the ISP concerned if you have doubts.

3. While engaged in a conversation, their hands are swift

Annalyn reports in her Laptop Camera Thefts are on the Rise

Another (and a reporter at that!) was victimized by somebody who engaged him in a conversation in Greenbelt. He lost his MacBook because he put down his bag to talk. His bag was gone in a split second.

Hold on to your bag!

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (1388 Posts)

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

  • Ria

    It’s frightening to know how brazen thieves have gotten….before you would assume you’re safe if its daytime or if you’re right in front of a “secure” area…

    The other day in one of the classes I teach, we were discussing problems or concerns the students had in school. And yes, robberies were at the top of their list. Even inside campuses with security systems, these thefts still happen! Now these thieves don’t target wallets anymore, but gadgets. In fact, I was appalled at the narration of one of my students that her friends cellphone was stolen while she was inside the elevator despite it being public knowledge that there are cctv surveillance cams in the elevator. (just a disclaimer though: i have no evidence this actually took place, it was just shared to me).

    also, my cousins car was broken into just like your friend Pau’s. It seems my 9 year old nieces left their handbags (they were kiddie handbags for crying out loud!) inside the car while they picked up something in the grocery in BF Homes, Paranaque. The car was parked in front of a guarded place, as there is a pawnshop and several stalls in the area. The window was broken and the two purses were taken. The little girls were so traumatized.

    thanks for this info. it reminded me to continue being vigilant…kahit mabigat magbitbit ng laptop, i won’t ever leave it in the car!!!

    Rias last blog post..Triple Treat on the Thriteenth.

    • I heard leaving bags in cars are magnets to robbers. They are probably just around watching as we place things in our trunk. Best defense is bring it with you.

  • Paranoia is the key attitude even in the “safer” neighborhoods here in the Midwest, USA. I think I never left my security-conscious roots from the Philippines. So, my additional words of advice, especially for women, are:

    1. Bring a roll-away computer case or a handbag (think of a large COACH maternity/baby bag) that doesn’t look like a laptop bag. I have one that looks like a backpack. Another one looks like a really nice designer bag suitable for parties. People really don’t know I have a laptop inside. I travel a lot so my laptop case is always locked and always close to me, even in the public restrooms.

    When I’m in the Philippines, I try not to trundle my roll-away computer bag with me. It’s always a quick trip from taxi to venue without meandering into crowded places. Thieves can be so aggressive and just snatch it without regard for a police officer standing only a few meters away. Better to have that indescript tote bag or regular bag on your shoulders. The key is “not to put attention” to your laptop.

    2. When you sit down to eat, put your computer case below the table, in front of your feet. This part is tricky: Make sure that you have the bag’s strap somehow wrapped around one of your feet. Well, the point is, if someone tries to grab the bag right underneath your feet, it will be pretty difficult especially since they will be dragging you, too, and of course, that will cause a lot of attention to the robbery.

    Thank you for this very enlightening news, Noems.

    • thanks for the tips Lorns. The girls often use a backpack so as not to draw attention to their laptops.

  • Naku, that’s why I’m extra careful with my DSLR camera when I bring it. I never leave it inside the car even when my hubby insists that I do. Nothing wrong with being extra careful or even paranoid. Even though the cam is quite heavy, at least it’s safe.

    Thanks for this … I’ll try to run a post.

    sassy moms last blog post..2009 Summer Activities for Kids

    • just bring it and when you carry it around, make sure it can’t get snatched easily

  • doble ingat na lang po sa mga kapwa bloggers at yun may mga gadgets na gawan ng paraan na dalhin parati at wag ng iwan sa oto. in case nabiktima kayo, try niyo din icheck yun mga sanglaan ng laptops or gadgets bukod sa mga online stores.

    itots last blog post..An Evening With Journey! Journey Live In Manila

    • I wonder where the “tambakan” of these stolen laptops are.

      • siguro ganito. non mauso ang bentahan ng 2ndhand na mobile phones e nauso din ang nakawan. nong magkaroon naman ng sanglaan at bentahan ng 2ndhand laptops e nauso din ang nakawan. tsaka lagi dahilan jan e sa hirap daw ng buhay kaya patok ang pagbili at benta ng ganyan.ingats n lng tlga. uso din yan modus n yan dito yun nagpretend sila n kung sino to check your gas tank,etc.

        itots last blog post..An Evening With Journey! Journey Live In Manila

  • Pau

    Not two days ago, Coco Collantes’s girlfriend was held up at an ATM at screwdriver-point. She had her macbook with her, but for some reason she got away unscathed and only lost 1K. She’s the luckiest in these batch of incidents.

    Paus last blog post..Robbery at MC Home Depot, Fort Bonifacio

    • Pati ATM din pala. sheesh

  • i think I’m gonna think twice before I live my loptop inside the car (though its just an ECS, still its a loptop, lol) My wife and I use to do this when we go inside the mall… wait i just did that yesterday afternoon… was lucky.

    vhincents last blog post..Father of Iwa Moto succumbs from Cancer

    • just get a comfortable bag that you can hang around your body. Maybe a messenger bag?

  • These are scary stories! I’d often leave my laptop because my car windows are heavily tinted and the alarm is quite sensitive. But reading these stories, grabe! Ang lakas ng loob ng mga magnanakaw ngayon. The car trunk break-in is really brazen, I imagine it’s not very easy to break into trunks?
    My husband, who often leaves his laptop in his car, always goes to MC Fort to check our showroom! And he parks at the rooftop. OMG talaga. Form now on, shall lug lappie around.

    imoms last blog post..Share Your Love Story and Win!

    • There are times I also leave my laptop inside but hidden away. One time I forgot to lock my car and my laptop was inside. I was parked in Rustan’s Forbes Park and lots of drivers are milling around. But my things inside were left intact.

  • This is really alarming. I remember one of my former managers telling me not to leave my laptop or gadgets at the drunk of the car even if the security guard is just near. Bringing the laptop with you and placing it on your lap when not in use is still the best thing to do especially when you are in a public place.

    • yes placed within sight and not easily snatched too.

  • My friend Aethen of got had his laptop stolen 2 weeks ago 🙁 Iniwan kasi sa boarding house, tapos ayun, sinira ang boarding house at kinalat kalat mga gamit. Pag uwi ni Aethen from work, wala na ang laptop nya. Hindi pa fully paid, wala na 🙁 How sad T_T

    Jehzeel Laurentes last blog post..Blue Stickman Tribes and the 5 Unique Individuals Deciphered!

    • looks like the robber knew aethen had valuable stuff inside the house.

  • The car with three laptops probably wasn’t parked by the Podium but in the big lot between podium and ADB. It used to be open to pedestrians but is now closed for this sort of reason. If it was between the podium and the BDO, ask the guard because that is impossible.

    The Pancake House incident is incredible. Shows you how smart and fast these people are. Once played poker with a known snatcher and a friend of a friend (well, actually, a relative uses him to help around the house, do errands, etc. after he spent some time in jail), and this guy is way fast. I mean, I got a full house (in poker) and he still beat me. Of course, he was dealing.

    You got to be paranoid, yes, even before this happens to you. A hundred thousand isn’t easy to earn back, and think of all the things (spa, vacation, 24-hour air-conditioning for two years) you could spend that money on.

    Since you’ve taken the time to report this to us, what I do is, I’ll probably leave my wallet at home next time I go to coffee bean or McDo. I don’t mind the credit card and ATM, but the epassporte card takes forever to renew 🙂

    BrianBs last blog post..First-Gen iPod Nano Owners on $25 Settlement

    • I figured it is that big parking lot beside Podium. I used to park there but have chosen to park inside the Podium parking area. I feel for the loss of their laptops. Losing a laptop for freelancers is like losing an office.

  • Just want to add that laptops are especially difficult to let go with all the personal information and even the passwords. Imagine the robber going into your email account and changing its password before you do? If you’re a freelancer, that’s devastating.

    We’ve got to admit to ourselves, we live in the Third World where people would kill for 10k. We also do not want to be living behind walls all the time. The alternative is this: look at the really rich. Look how they dress up and what kinds of cars they drive. I know some of their kids from school and they drive bulok cars and wear cheap T-shirts to campus. If they have to drive a pricey vehicle, you bet it’s going to be trailed by bodyguards. This is during the height of the KFR incident reports. We may have to go back to that kind of thinking because it’s going to be a long-term crisis.

    BrianBs last blog post..First-Gen iPod Nano Owners on $25 Settlement

  • It’s so heartbreaking to know this incidents happening right now. It’s never been safe anywhere already.

    As a note, I never use my laptop bag when I go public with my portable. I used another bag, to deceive those potential robbers lurking around. And if I go to coffee shops, I have to make sure to ask the cafe’s security or service crew to watch my portable when I go to the (“nature’s calling”) comfort room.

    Obnoxious Queers last blog post..Painting or Real Photo?

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  • I used to be a neighbor of Marc Macalua. I rented one floor above him. We were victims of the same burglars. Based on my own investigation, I found out that the burglaries happened simultaneously, just a few minutes or an hour apart, in the afternoon when there was no day shift security. I also suspected that it was an inside job. Someone in the building is connected to an organized group who does that for a living because when I investigated further, lots of other burglaries came up in the same location. I wasted no time sending a letter of complaint to the building owner with the intention that an action be taken. I was glad that a day shift security was soon deployed even if my request to cut short my lease was also approved. I couldn’t live there anymore knowing that burglaries are rampant there, especially after having talked to a tenant who got burglarized a few days after Marc and I did. And according to the tenant it was the 2nd time that it happened to her. Now, whether she’s telling the truth or playing the victim to elude suspicion is another matter. All I know is that the incidents there are all inside jobs. This is why I am no longer staying inside that building. Note: Imagine my horror on the day of my move to discover from my friend who assisted me that when I was downstairs making sure my stuff are all being loaded in the truck, this one other suspicious looking tenant slyly went inside my unit looking at my yet-to-be loaded stuff. My friend came out of the restroom to see that tenant inside of the unit uninvited and asking where I was to transfer home.

    Sky Highs last blog post..MENTOR: Einstein and Your Connection To World Events

  • Wow I couldn’t believe these stories, especially the second one, it’s too bad the areas did not have cameras to catch these thieves! I try to always careful with my things, as I know there are always be somebody there looking to potentially take it.

  • I would always leave my laptop (in its bag) at the car’s backseat, but I’d cover it with my wife’s squishy pillows. Now I’m not so sure that’s going to keep it from getting stolen (and my backpack of other stuff), though I usually park near guard posts (even that’s not secure anymore).

    Carl Lozanos last blog post..Tightening the belt

    • same here but not now! Be safe than sorry.

  • I was allerted by your post Noemi. I just called our house now to warn my mom about possible fraud Globelines people. A few weeks back, some promo people from Globe knocked and I entertained them because I have been waiting for a free line in our area for a long time. I was wary of the promo people’s movement because they look suspicious and they moved inside my house as if they’re comfortable already.

    To cut the story short, weeks later and after follow up rounds of these “promo people” to our house, I went to Globe Center in Marikina and checked the status of my application. I found out there’s no application entered under my name. I applied at the center and after a few days, my phone and internet modem is delivered. Are those promo people a hoax? I really think so and we’re just lucky we felt we should be wary of them so we watched their movements while they’re inside our house.

    I still receive text messages from those “promo people” and I just called my mother now to warn her of their possible intrusion in our home. Thanks for this article Noemi, this is very enlightening.

    • call Globelines and report that number too. It’s good to alert your household members about this modus operandi.

  • thegreatest

    These thieves are really really slick. A friend’s cel was stolen in greenhills right in front of our eyes and we didn’t even see it. Up to this day I have no clue how they were able to grab a phone that was in front of our noses on the table with 3 people around it.

  • I have clients and friends who’s laptops were stolen from guarded mall parking lots. Their car windows got smashed leaving everything else and taking only the laptops. Wierd.

    In response to Bryan’s comment that some people would kill for 10k, we had an incident here in Batangas City where a brgy official got killed for 2k php. Deym!

  • Mia

    This happened to me when we parked our car in a guarded parking front of KFC in Starmall in Las Pinas. It was a fairly new KFC outlet so we decided as a family to have merienda there. Since, we didn’t plan to stay there for long, I left my Canon DIgicam, my bag (with my 2 mos old Ipod Touch, 160gb passport drive, my 2k worth leather bag). I did have that hunch to bring my bag with me I just wasn’t listening, when we went back in our car we found the driver’s door open and unlocked and my digital cam and the whole bag stolen.

    The next day, an old lady called me up and told me that they found some items that belong to me (starbucks planner, keys, business cards) in a bridge in BF Resort. These magnanakaw even have access to enter subdivisions.

    In our office building as well, there were even small offices that laptops were stolen right from their office tables (including cables and all).

    It sucks when these things happen! :X

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  • coolpix32

    I also had a similar incident of Globe broadband personnel coming to my house pretending to change my modem. Good thing I was home!

    It was exactly how you described it. Three men knocked on the gate saying they will be changing my modem. I was surprised since I neither requested for an upgrade nor was modem toasted.

    I called the Globe hotline and was advised that there is no Job Order to substantiate the modem change.

    I immediately alerted the guards of our village.

  • sunshine

    we had a similar incident in mckinley place forbes park. ..a supposedly exclusive and highly-secured village…a colleague and i attended a seminar at the blue leaf pavillion..we parked inside near the guard…when we came back the car’s window was broken and his laptop and my new designer bag was stolen…accdg to witnesses from the nearby construction site, theft occurred high noon by a group of man aboard a mitsubishi lancer…everything happened so fast, unfortunaly the roving security in forbes park was very slow and the nearby taguig police never came at all despite repeated calls…
    the laptop was brand even had its plastic cover on..and my designer bag and designer shoes (running shoes and work shoes) were only a week old too

  • It’s a good thing I always lock the doors of the cab I ride in or the doors of the car I carpool in because a new theft modus seems to be rampant along EDSA lately. The modus happens during heavy traffic and victims usually have unlocked car doors or are provoked to get out of the car to their doom. Here’s an excerpt of a news about this from Yahoo:

    The arrests came after their latest victim, Jesus Palmos of the European Commission, filed a complaint that several teenagers robbed him of his belongings when his vehicle came to a stop at the height of heavy traffic along EDSA.

    Police said one of the teenagers sat on the hood of Palmos’ vehicle, prompting him to disembark to shoo the boy away. Another teenager entered his vehicle and took away his personal belongings, Palmos said.

    A police team headed by Chief Inspector Joselito Sta. Maria, chief of the Special Operations Group (SOG) of the Mandaluyong City police, arrested two members of the syndicate – a 13-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl – in the act of robbing the passengers of a taxi. During tactical interrogation, the teens revealed their hideout.

  • The arrests came after their latest victim, Jesus Palmos of the European Commission