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Sunday, 30 December 2007

When yours is stolen...

The first thing to do, as I gather from various forums and sources, is to report the incident to the police. This way, the incident becomes official and all relevant information related to the lost items are noted. This same document will be very helpful in determining ownership should the opportunity for recovery comes up.

Make copies of the official document and give them out to all Apple Authorized Service Centers. It helps to scour areas where laptop pawnshops proliferate and request them to either receive a copy of your document (at least) or post it in a public and visible area of their shop.

It also pays to post messages in trade sites known to buy and sell technology stuff like, and special-interest forums and groups (like YahooGroups or GoogleGroups).

Lastly, use the power of email. It's still a wonder that laptop theft is under-reported in Manila (and elsewhere) in spite of the fact that laptops aren't just expensive, they make our lives somewhat easier, hold valuable information and make, or break, our means of livelihood.

Here's the LIST of stolen items (updated).

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

A Universal Message

Or why it only takes a few seconds to reconsider our safety at all times... Thanks to deepblue of philMUG for the link.

Friday, 3 August 2007


or, why you should NOT leave your valuables in your car.

Now, it makes the network news, finally, and a name of the thieves to boot: the LAPTOP GANG. Unlike your motorcycle gang who are bike enthusiasts, Manila's Laptop Gang are not laptop owners, but rob owners of their valuables, foremost of which are laptops, music players and cellphones. As I've mentioned, these thieves couldn't careless about your state-of-the-art car audio set-up or even your car (probably too complicated to dismantle in the former, too traceable in the latter). In the video below, the thieves left a souvenir behind in the victim's car: traces of blood from an apparent injury. So, they are only human, too. If we had a DNA database, this, and other crimes, would somehow have some kind of a lead. Otherwise, the authorities better impose stricter policies on pawnshops (the BSP), have a better database of known robbers (PNP), or the owners better not leave vualuables in the car (Now tell me please, on top of everything else, why leave jewelry in the car, for heaven's sake? Geez!)

(Video below is courtesy of GMA7's 24Oras, broadcast on Aug. 2, 2007. The original can be found here)

On print, an archived clip: Manila Times' Fil-Australian loses laptop to snatcher

Monday, 16 July 2007


Is yours on the list?


Aug. 23, 2008

» W87452P6X91 | MacBookPro 2.2 | Near Reyes Gym, Mand. City
(Along Libertad street; forced vehicle entry)

Feb. 29, 2008

» W87524CGZ62 | MacBook | Davao City, Davao
(include: Eee PC, cell phone)

Feb. 27, 2008
» 4H701JX3WGL | MacBook White | Sta. Rosa, Laguna

Dec. 25, 2007
» W8732099X92 | MacBook Pro 15" | Tagaytay City

3rd week Dec. 2007
» 9C7410QQW4T | iPod Touch A1213 | Las Piñas City

Sept. 25, 2007
» 4H5162RNR17 | PB 12" | Office warehouse, La Trinidad, Benguet
(include: printer, desktop and laptop PC, cash)

July 23, 2007
» 4H5170Z6RJ7 | PB G4 12" | Parking, Valle Verde Clubhouse, Pasig

July 16, 2007
» 4H6272QVVMM |MB Blk |Bldg. in Kamias, QC
» W8631106WBJ |MBP |Open parking, Marcos Hi-way, Cainta
» 4H632345VMM |MB Black |--

» W871712XWOL |MBP |Open parking, Parksquare, Mkti
» 9C720299V9M |IPDVID |Max's Parking, Urdaneta, Pang.
» W861866HTHY |MBP |Virra Mall Paid Carpark
» W86363HPVWX |MBP |SM SFDO Parking
» YM53929SSZB |IPDN |Res., Pasig
» YM7051AQWL3 |IPDN |Res., Pasig
» 4H6491QPWGK |MB |FIGARO, 88Corp Ctr, Mkt
» 4H62137ZU9b |MB |STARBUCKS, Edsa Shang
» W86144DQVJ0 |MBP |PALMPODCTRL, Glorietta
» 4H6272HQVMM |MB |- -
» 4H6470TRWGM |MB |Open parking, Maginhawa, T. Vill., QC
» 4N071105ZP603 |iBK |UST MED BLDG.
» S4H5510ERSE7 |iBK |NAGA
» W862243MU2N |iMC |Res., SSS Hsng. Fairview
» 8R636R60V9M |IPDV |- -
» 4H5182CCRJ7 |PB |Carpark-Alabang
» UV4020SRPGW |iBK |Open parking (clinic), Quezon. Ave.
Originally posted on July 16, 2007 Updated on Aug 24, 2008

Sunday, 15 July 2007

One for the books

BREAK-INS AND BURGLARY are not the most exciting experience, but these can certainly leave the most impression on the victims. Sometimes, the effect of media exposure on crimes may leave a numbing effect on the public unless, of course, it happens to our neighbors or us.
"Just a couple of minutes ago, we were able to catch in the act the person we suspect have stolen several laptops, and cellphones in the building.

We were able to identify him thru an earlier security cam video, and when he entered the office, those of us who recognized him went to all the exits to block him off. He tried to muscle his way out but we got him pinned down to the floor. He was caught red-handed with a stolen cellphone in his pocket.

A word of warning though,

a. These guys don't work alone. One of his cohorts would pretend to pin him down, but will try to slyly slip the evidence away. When somebody shouted the cellphone is in the fire exit stairways, he let go of the arm, and went ahead to check the fire exit. He never went back. He is still on the loose.

b. They target offices or cubicles that are blocked off from general view (like a cubicle that's right beside a building post, or a wall).

c. And if you think they won't come back right after a theft, you'd be surprised that they actually do.

d. Don't believe any crap coming out of their mouths."
This almost blow-by-blow account was posted online in one of the forums I am a member of. The incident, as with the above post, was dated July 2, 2007. The extraordinary value of this account is that the witness &mdash a forum member himself &mdash along with his office mates, took action, subdued the suspects and did their civil duty of reporting the crime to the authorities almost instantaneously, all the while being able to sound off other members of the forum by posting online (talk about some kind of citizen journalism). Fortunately, there were no casualties reported.

Well, the suspects' accomplices managed to flee (there were allegedly four of them), the subdued suspect was booked and the victims filed a case. Our member-reporter (let's call him 'CJ', aka citizen-journalist) also managed to secure clearance to post the pictures of the incident.

Does it end there? I believe it does not, as it only starts where we think it ends. We start by being vigilant and alert. Then we become cautious, probably spending on some security stuff for our peace of mind. Also, we start making decisions, like, do we actually react according to what is expected of us (e.g. call for help and alert others around us) or not?

Someone replied to the thread above, which I think is basic and very, very timely (and also echoes my sentiments):
"Though not totally theft-proof, it still adds a level of security especially when you're always alert and vigilant. Professional thieves have good instincts in detecting "qualified" victims."
Over and above it all, we do have a responsibility to stop a crime when we see one. Of course with this responsibility comes the risk, but if the criminals are allowed to get away with it once, what will stop them from doing the same thing all over again?
Photos courtesy of "CJ". Thanks for sharing.

Friday, 29 June 2007

The BSP Media Release on Pawnshops

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) released on June 26, 2007 a precautionary guideline to the public in light of what it says are "numerous complaints brought to the attention of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). I am lifting the first and last entries:
1. Deal only with a pawnshop that has a current business/mayor’s permit issued by the city or municipality where the pawnshop is located and that is registered with the BSP. A pawnshop that has no business/ mayor’s permit and that is not registered with the BSP is operating illegally.
7b. For complaints against pawnshops, please contact the BSP Consumer Affairs Group through the following: Telephone: 523-1706 or 524-6929 or 523-2582 (Direct Line) 524-7011 (Trunk Line) locals 3017/3018/2653/2562 Telephone: 523-3631 (Direct Line) 524-7011 local 2584 (Trunk Line)
Read the complete release here.

Sunday, 17 June 2007


Manila, Philippines.

IT IS TRUE: EVEN NOONTIME GAME SHOWS have been giving away notebook PC computers to contestants by asking (almost) very elementary questions. And, why not? Haven't computers leveled the field for the haves and will-haves for decades already? Everyone deserves a digital life.

Computers of all sizes have created a virtual life of freedom. On the other hand, it may also have encouraged a different kind of freedom for other members of society, that is, the freedom to take someone else's property. Well, it is not as if stealing is a recent phenomenon. From petty theft to big-time plunder, they do come in all shapes and sizes.

With the dropping of prices of notebook computers happening at every mall and distributors' shops, not to mention the boost in purchasing power of the average consumers, come the unpleasant realization that some of our movements may have to be curtailed.

It is alarming that the spate of laptop theft happening around the Metro have occurred quite regularly, mostly in public spaces as guarded parking areas and popular cafés. Coincidentally — though this is not to condemn legitimate businesses — so have the sprouting of laptop pawnshops (some with signage screaming: LAPTOP PAWNSHOP).

It seems that our low-tech elements have gone hi-tech. These low-lifes have graduated from snatching cellphones to stealing laptops for obvious reasons (in the same token, so have pawnshops and other shady trading posts). It is not identity theft or credit card fraudulence that makes it to the top of the list of technology-related crimes in this country, but low-tech means like smashing a car window or unlocking a car door with wires to steal notebook computers and other gadgets, that do (the thieves do not seem to care as much for the cars, leaving them behind). Apparently, surveillance cameras won’t help either: if not smashed or vandalized, maybe they are set-up only as props.

A laptop is an investment, whether bought brand new or second-hand. It is used by many law-abiding, tax-paying citizens to make an honest living. On the side, it may function as a toy, a journal of personal milestones, a communication device, but it is primarily a tool for work by many. What right have you, varmint, to take that away?

So, here it is, a lonely site that may serve like a roll call or a memorial list of the serial numbers of stolen Apple computers and gadgets from Manila and elsewhere, culled from popular forums and posted notices on the internet. (I’m pretty sure there as are many lost PC notebooks out there.)

Since Apple Inc. itself does not have a database of stolen items in its site, and Manila without an official Apple office to receive complaints (except for very reliable certified service centers) this site aims to make public the serial numbers of items for fair public warning. Let's just say the we have developed intolerance for taking someone's life, because in many cases that's just what it is.

Is yours on the list?