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EMERGENCY MESSAGE TO U.S. CITIZENS

U.S. Embassy, Manila, Philippines

July 19, 2011

 

THE EMBASSY OF THE UNITEDSTATES IS TRANSMITTING THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION AS A PUBLIC SERVICE TO U.S.CITIZENS IN THE PHILIPPINES. PLEASE DISSEMINATE THIS MESSAGE TO ALL U.S.CITIZENS IN YOUR ORGANIZATION OR NEIGHBORHOOD. THANK YOU.

 

_______________________________________________________

Juvenile Pickpocket Gangs

Personal Protective Measures

 

Several U.S. citizens haverecently been victims of juvenile pickpocket gangs operating in the Malateneighborhood of Manila city. This neighborhood is near the U.S. Embassyand is frequented by tourists.

 

 

These pickpocket gangs arecomprised of street children between the ages of six and twelve, usuallyaccompanied by an elderly man who acts as the ringleader. Appearing to behomeless, they begin their attack by demanding money from non-Filipinotourists. They aggressively follow the tourists and eventually swarmaround them, surreptitiously stealing personal items such as wallets and cellphones. When the victims begin to protest, the children leave andcontinue walking down the street.

 

 

There have been confirmedreports of this type of pickpocket gang victimizing tourists in Cebu City as well.

 

 

You should practice the“common sense” security measures outlined below:

 

 

· Payattention to surroundings, realizing that crime can occur anywhere, anytime.

 

· Ifyou notice a group of children approaching you, try to cross the street oravoid them. If they continue to follow or harass you, seek assistancefrom a local establishment’s security guard or door escort. The gangsusually leave once they encounter authority figures.

 

· Don’twear a lot of jewelry and don’t display large amounts of cash.

 

· Ifpossible, do not carry a purse or backpack – and carry only the items you need.

 

· Considernot carrying a wallet, but instead keeping cash, IDs, credit cards, etc., inpockets.

 

· Avoidpublic transit - Jeepneys, LRT and the MRT are prime venues for pickpockets.

 

· Donot drink alcoholic beverages excessively, which could make you an easy target.

 

· Wheneverpossible, do not venture into public venues, unknown or dimly lit areas alone.

 

You can stay in touch and getEmbassy updates by checking the Embassy website, found at http://manila.usembassy.gov. You can also get global updates at the U.S. Department of State's, Bureau of Consular Affairs websitewhere you can find the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, TravelAlerts, and Country Specific Information. If you don't have internetaccess, we have a call center for updates--1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S.and Canada, or outside the U.S. and Canada on a regular toll line at1-202-501-4444.

 

 

The U.S. Embassy is located at1201 Roxas Boulevard, Manila, Philippines and can be contacted at:

 

 

Phone (24/7): (63)(2)301-2000

 

Fax: (63)(2) 301-2017

 

E-Mail: [email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

American Citizens Services U.S. Embassy, Manila, Philippines Telephone: (63 2) 301-2000 extensions 2246 or 2567

Fax: (63 2) 301-2017

 

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smokey

i have had the little shits try to take my stuff a few times they bum rush you liike 10 to 15 and they catch you in the middle of the street and as you try to push them off they go for the pockets and they have lots of adult back up just in case you try to get nasty..they are on the street behind swaggerman by the 7/11

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Kodiak570

i have had the little shits try to take my stuff a few times they bum rush you liike 10 to 15 and they catch you in the middle of the street and as you try to push them off they go for the pockets and they have lots of adult back up just in case you try to get nasty..they are on the street behind swaggerman by the 7/11

 

My second trip to Cebu they got me as I was walking from Mango Square Mall towards El Gecko's at 3 in afternoon. It was only P400, but I did wait and one gentleman? (ringleader?) did find my wallet next to a telephone pole, which had 2 cards and another P2K folded and hidden behind my Driver's License. Same kinda deal, "Daddy, daddy" and surrounded me. Next thing you know it's gone. Watch out!

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mpt1947

i have had the little shits try to take my stuff a few times they bum rush you liike 10 to 15 and they catch you in the middle of the street and as you try to push them off they go for the pockets and they have lots of adult back up just in case you try to get nasty..they are on the street behind swaggerman by the 7/11

I was just there last week - got home on Friday - we must have been lucky - didn't see anyone.

 

However, I have been hit in DT Cebu by Metro - luckily again - I don't carry anything of value with me - the wife has it all and I usually walk several steps behind her -

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Bob Ward

Boy the embassy is sure on the ball! These gangs have been operating for decades!

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broden

Boy the embassy is sure on the ball! These gangs have been operating for decades!

well you know when the government really wants to kick it in to high gear they can move from the astronomical right on up to the geological time scale

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