Saturday, May 30, 2009

Thieves lurk inside SM mall

Unless one has experienced something horrific, he or she wouldn't learn a good lesson.

This was what happened to my wife a week after she and my 17-year-old daughter went on a shopping spree at the new SM Shopping Mall in Marikina City. We have resided in Marikina City for more than 25 years now. It's here where all my children were born, raised and educated. All those years, I had learned to like Marikina City, the shoe capital of the Philippines, because the local government is doing its role in so far as the delivery of basic services are concerned. This is not to mention the peace and order situation in the city. On weekends, I'd find myself jogging along its pristine and well-paved lanes along the river that stretches between Calumpang district down to the big Riverbank Shopping Mall in Barangka.

Then, the unexpected came like a bolt of lightning. My wife was fitting a pair of shoes at one of the stores inside the shopping mall when she decided to put down her handbag, containing some cash, credit cards and an expensive cellphone. She said she didn't expect that an unknown mortal would pick it up because she knew that my daughter was right behind her. However, she wasn't aware that got up to distance from her mother because, according to her, she couldn't stand the bad breath coming from the mouth of a certain woman close to her. A few minutes later, my wife went hysterical when she found out that the handbag was no longer on her side. It was gone!

What makes it more disgusting is that the store has a security guard, who was supposed to see what's happening all around him at that moment. But he himself wasn't aware that a thief was inside that store. The management only came to find about it when my wife complained to the manager. I just don't understand if there was a collusion between the thieves and the security guard manning his post. I knew that it is the responsibility of the customers to take care of their belongings. But at least, the security should be there to also check on things that he feels are unwarranted or suspicious characters inside the store.

I'm writing this not to inform the SM management in Marikina to return the lost belongings of my wife. But I think it will be a good lesson for the local government of Marikina City to at least require business establishments to install surveillance cameras in their stores so that bad elements can be tracked and identified. I don't want to preempt the move of the city government, but it is something that will tarnish its good image as one of the safest places in the whole of Metro Manila.

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