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Jan 28, 2013
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Malls are the new hotbed for crime scenes, we think.

Did y'all hear about the jewelry heist at SM Megamall last Saturday? Six still unidentified men made off with nearly 200 pieces of jewelry after they carried out a two-minute heist inside the packed department store last weekend, this according to www.Inquirer.net. The thieves reportedly escaped with 71 Saudi gold necklaces, 52 Saudi gold pendants, more than a dozen Saudi gold rings, and bits and pieces of golden earrings and chains. At least two of them were carrying pipe wrenches—which they used to break the jewelry display's glass casing—and one was armed with a caliber .45 pistol.

Good thing no one was hurt, especially when the thieves let two gunshots. "What the SM guards did was right," said Mandaluyong police chief Senior Supt. Florendo Quibuyen. "If they had fought with the suspects, a stampede or a more violent incident could have transpired"—this we can take comfort in.

Still, what do we make of this recent trend? What's alarming is some of the nastiest mall crimes ever committed took place in recent years. We love malling as much as the next man (FHM HQ was once based in Robinsons Galleria, for crying out loud), but malls ain't exactly the most secure place on Earth these days. Read on and understand why we're feeling paranoid at the moment...

The one where a dentist falls to her death
Mall: Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong City
When: July, 2010
Casualty: 1
How: A British national saw Dr. Mary Ann Magtoto, a dentist, climb from the 6th floor elevator railing then jump to her death, landing at the mall’s 2nd floor. She was immediately rushed to the hospital but was declared dead on arrival.

The one where a teen shoots his gay lover
Mall: SM Pampanga, Pampanga
When: September, 2011
Casualties: 2
How: A 13-year old boy shot himself after killing his 17-year old male friend inside a mall. The shooter had in him a suicide note, which stated: “I’m happy to kill you. No one else would own you.” After going brain dead for days, the two perished after their respective families opted to take them off life support.



The one where a mall explodes
Mall: Glorietta 2, Makati City
When: October 2007
Casualties: 11
How: The 2007 incident at Glorietta 2 was initially reported to have been caused by an exploding LPG tank at Luk Yuen Noodle House. It was later ruled to be a terrorist bombing, only to be considered anew as a gas flare-up. Truth be told, nobody really knows what happened up to now. Eleven people died and more than a hundred were badly injured from the explosion.

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The one where robbers made patol of a low-end mall
Mall: Metropoint Mall, Pasay City
When: August, 2012
Casualties: None
How: What started as a pawnshop robbery turned into a scene of mass chaos when one of the robbers fired in the air to cause panic among the train passengers coming from the LRT and MRT stations passing through the mall. The stampeding passengers provided the thieves a clever cover for their eventual escape.


NEXT: Two women gone amok and a big-ass snake!


WORDS: MIKEY AGULTO
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