Theft cases on the rise in Cebu City as COVID-19 restrictions eased
CEBU CITY — Enjoy the sights, beware of thieves.
While the Queen City of the South is a popular tourist destination, the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) issued a dire warning to locals and tourists alike to take care not to fall prey to snatchers, amid the rise of reported theft cases, particularly snatching.
In the third week of June alone, policemen received 21 cases of snatching in the city and another 13 cases the week prior, according to Lt. Col. Maria Theresa Macatangay, spokesperson of the Cebu City police.
From January to June 2022, the CCPO logged a total of 202 cases of snatching.
Macatangay said the number was higher compared to the same period last year although the exact figures were not yet available as of Wednesday.
“The most prevalent crime recorded by the Cebu City police at present is really theft, especially snatching,” she said in an interview.
Macatangay believed that the easing of restrictions against COVID-19 contributed to the rise in theft cases.
She, however, stressed that the theft cases in the city should not alarm people.
“Remember that Cebu City has a population of at least a million. The cases of snatching is just .02 percent vis-à-vis the number of residents in the city,” she said.
Macatangay, nonetheless, advised the public to be vigilant as well as to avoid wearing or bringing jewelry and other expensive items outdoors.
“But if they really fell victim to snatchers, it would be better not to fight back or resist, especially if the perpetrators are armed with a gun or other deadly weapons,” she said.
The Cebu City police, she said, has deployed more policemen on the city streets to prevent thieves from carrying out their plans.
“We have to increase police visibility and patrol operations to avoid cases of theft in the city,” Macatangay said.
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