Monday, July 17, 2006

Modus Operandi of petty thieves

There is an effective modus operandi executed by petty thieves in Dumaguete City.

By petty theft we mean snatchers, pick pockets.

The modus operandi is to take undue advantage of the constitutional guarantee to an accused of speedy trial.

According to our sources, these local petty thieves like snatchers and pick-pockets target visitors and transients temporarily staying in Dumaguete City.

For instance there are invitation games, professional convention hostyed by various groups in Dumaguete City.

It is during these activities that the thieves have a heyday.

There is a sensible reason why local thieves operating in Dumaguete target the visitors.

The reason is that if they get caught, chances are great that the petty criminals get a criminal conviction.

The victims, being merely visitors and trancients, temporarily staying in Dumaguete will not bother to attend the court proceedings agasint the apprehended snatchers.

It makes a lot of sense for the criminal.

By victimizing visitors to the city, if ever the criminal are caught and a formal complaint is lodged, the case will not see any conviction.

This is because not long after filing the complaint- that is if the visiting victim will press charges--- the complainant will have to leave town and return home.

When this happens, there will not longer be any principal witness against the accused.

Without the testimony of hte victim, there is a slim chance that the accused will get a conviction.

It is more likely that the case will have to be dismissed for lack of evidence, or failure to prosecute.

Our source said that if ever the criminals are caught, they just stay in jail and turn down bail (to save money) and wait for their complaining victim to leave.

Our source said that during scheduled hearing, the accused would always ask: "Is the complainant present?"

It is likely that eventually, the complaining victim will not pursue the case as he or she shall have left the city already.

After that, the accused will invoke their right to speedy trial.

As to how these snatchers and pickpockets were able to devise such a brilliant legal strategy is beyond us.

I don't suppose any lawyer gave such an advise to the criminals (to target visitors).

I would rather think it was devised through sheer experience in their adventures with the legal system.

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