It was past 6pm and I was walking on the busy streets of Makati. I’m running a bit late for a dinner so I opted to send SMS to my friend to inform that I’m almost in Greenbelt. At that time I just walked up the stairs of the underpass near Manila Peninsula. In my peripheral view, I noticed a guy going in my direction and my instant reaction was to avoid him. I was busy texting my friend when I realized someone bumped me harshly. I know it was done on purpose because I was hurt by the collision. I looked back and the man apologized deviously. Then my heart beat faster. I realized my phone was almost snatched and I walked faster going to Greenbelt scared that the man may follow me.
I told my friends what happened and they confirmed that there really are snatchers in that area. Apparently, the man who bumped me is not operating alone. He has a buddy. The two of them look for pedestrians using their phones without straps. Snatcher1 “accidentally” bumps you while you’re busy texting or calling/answering a call, hard enough for you to lose grip of your phone until it falls. Snatcher2 catches your phone while snatcher1 distracts your attention by apologizing as he holds your hand or shoulder, blocking the view of snatcher2. When you look for your phone, Snatcher1 deceives you by saying he saw a suspicious guy running to some direction. You run to the wrong direction, giving them time to escape.
So guys be extra careful. As much as possible, refrain from using your phone in crowded/public areas.