Stolen Laptops, Car Robberies in Ortigas Center, The Fort

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Update

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 sulit.com.ph 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 sulit.com.ph 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 (1391 Posts)

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) 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.