Public urged to be on lookout for criminal elements as Christmas approaches

MEMBERS of the public who are out shopping and dining must beware of thieves and pickpockets.

The Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) issued this reminder on Tuesday, November 22, 2022.

Lieutenant Colonel Wilbert Parilla, deputy director for administration of the CCPO, said criminal elements usually prey on hapless victims during this period when Christmas and the Sinulog approach.

“Especially now with Christmas around the corner, people should not leave their belongings unattended when they’re in restaurants or to be wary of the person next to them when they’re out shopping,” he said in Cebuano.

Parilla said most of the thieves and pickpockets are from Luzon or Mindanao who come to Cebu at this time of the year.

He said they have been coordinating with their counterparts in the intelligence community, including owners of apartments and boarding houses.

They are also on the lookout for counterfeit money, he added.

Parilla said it is easy to detect fake bills without a machine.

“The banknote should feel rough and you feel a variation of texture across the surface because it features embossed elements. Next is the watermark on the bill that is placed on the right side and refers to the replica of the face on the note. The watermark should be clearly visible once you hold the banknote against the light and should match the face,” he said in Cebuano.

Usually the victims of counterfeit money are owners of small shops and vendors at the Carbon Public Market who are too busy to examine the banknotes closely, he said. (AYB/PJB)