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Shopping Malls: Danger! Danger!

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by Mikey Agulto | 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.

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WORDS: MIKEY AGULTO
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