WHO SAID there’s a zero crime rate when Manny Pacquiao has a prized fight?

At the height of the bout between Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto last November 15, computer science sophomore James Pastoral, 17, was held up by two men at 12:45 p.m.

“I was walking along the Dapitan Street from a jeepney ride in Lacson Avenue. I was about to meet with a friend in [a condominium] near the intersection of Dapitan and P. Noval Streets,” Pastoral told the Varsitarian.

But as Pastoral approached the deserted Antonio Street, four blocks away from his destination, a man pulled him by the collar.

While being frisked by his assailant, another man pointed a handgun to his nose and asked him not to shout. The two men took P1,000 and a cellphone worth P7,500.

He said he wasn’t able to report it to the police or barangay outpost, because he did not know where to go.

Joseph Badinas, security office detachment commander, said petty crimes outside the University are difficult to check.

But petty crimes have lately hit student hangouts on campus.

Maritoni Jane Basa, 18, communication arts junior at the Faculty of Arts and Letters, said her signature bag was stolen at Plaza Calderon while she and her friends were playing voleyball.

She said that a group of female students wearing all-white uniforms was in the bench before her bag disappeared.

People working in UST have been victimized by petty criminals but off-campus.

Glaiza Marie Ramos, 23, an assistant manager in a shop at the UST Carpark, said she lost her cellphone last November 16 while dismbarking from a jeepney on Dapitan Street.

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She said she was about to get off the jeepney at the intersection of Lacson and Dapitan, when a suspicious-looking male co-passenger tripped her. Ramos said she just ignored the man and started walking. It was then she found out she had lost her phone.

But when she went back to the jeepney parked in a stop, the one who tripped her and his companion weren’t there anymore.

“Students, especially first years, are the main target of criminals, particularly thieves, since most freshmen are new in the University,” Badinas warned.

Alfred Tagufa of the security office said there’s a common modus operandi among criminals. One tactic is budol-budol, where a stranger would talk to the victim, saying that he knows the victim’s relatives. He would ask for money and promise to pay in return. Then he would ask him to go somewhere far to meet. There, the victim would be held up.

A similar tack is applied by the Dugo-dugo gang, where a group would accost the victim and accuse him of hurting their fraternity member. They would then force the victim to turn over all of his belongings. They would even force the victim to withdraw from his ATM account and turn over the cash to them.

Another tactic is salisi, which usually happens inside Internet shops. The robber would look for unattended belongings (usually cellphones or wallets, and take them in a flash.

Badinas urged students to report crimes.

“The security office is open 24 hours, and security personnel are alert all the time.” Badinas told the Varsitarian.

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