Beware of 'Dura Dura' Cellphone Snatcher Modus Operandi Inside Jeepney

Earlier today, TP Friend Michael Arellano lost his beloved Asus ZenFone 5 to a bunch of nefarious cellphone snatchers employing what he calls classic 'Dura Dura' modus operandi inside jeepneys.

Dura Dura Modus Operandi
Many commuters have actually fallen prey to this gross and downright hideous modus usually perpetrated by a gang of four to five men -- sometimes including one female accomplice.

Here's Michael's detailed narration of the incident:

February 7, 2015

Around 12:20 pm sumakay ako ng Santa Ana ~ Padre Faura jeepney coming from school, Concordia College.

So everything seems okay, naka headset ako as usual, cellphone on my left side pocket, wallet on right side pocket wearing my cargo shorts. Umupo ako sa may right side sa may hulihan. Then the guy sa unahan ko told me na may dumura daw dun sa inupuan ko, and upon checking, meron nga, sobrang daming dura.

So lumipat ako sa left side, then ayun naka headset nga ako and nagsasalita sila. Then yung second guy na katabi nung katabi ko kanina nagtanong ng oras, kaya naging oriented ako sa oras, 12:45pm.

12:45pm makalagpas ng PNR line.

After magtanong ni Kuya na nasa unahan, yung guy na mismong nasa unahan ko volunteer na punasan yung likod ko. So ayun pinalapit nya ako sa kanya, pinupunasan yung likod ko with his right hand, then yung left hand nya nasa left knee ko. Then he's putting weight on my knee then parang niyuyugyog na nya (I am thinking na baka may sakit sya kaya ganun). Then he left.

Parang lahat sila nagtaka, kasi tumatakbo yung guy na umalis. So ayun sinabi nung katabi ko na baka saken daw yung nalalaglag na something so worried tumakbo na ako palabas. And upon checking, wala na yung Asus ZenFone 5 ko.

So tumakbo ako palabas ng jeep at hinanap yung guy at nagtanong tanong sa mga nakakita.

Around 1pm hinahanap ko yung Police Station. Then nagpablotter.

And doon ko nakita ang dami ng tanong nawalan ng phone, sa area na yun.

Contemplating, narealize ko na nasa katabi ko lang kanina sa jeep yung phone ko after all. Kaya pala yung guy sa unahan ko was putting weight on my knee para malaglag yun phone ko sa katabi ko.

Good thing nung pinachange ko yung SIM ko sa [network provider ko] wala daw transactions na ginawa yung person na nakakuha ng phone ko. Good thing na din siguro na alphanumeric ang phone lock ko so nagkaroon pa ako ng time to change passwords sa emails and social accounts. Yung inaalala ko nalang is yung important files ko. Nakakalungkot

Dura Dura Gang
After sharing this TP story on Twitter, the Philippines National Police (@PNPhotline) offered this brief and concise description of the Dura Dura Gang modus operandi.

'Dura Dura' (aka 'Suka Suka') snatching incidents are apparently so common that some commuters have actually recorded and uploaded videos of these criminals in action. Here are a couple of clips:

I regularly ride the jeepney myself and if I were to give an advice to fellow commuters, it's that it pays to be very observant and vigilant when riding any form of public transport. As much as possible, avoid using your earphones when you're inside the jeepney so you can be more aware of what's happening around you. Don't talk to strangers who are obviously just trying to get your attention and take care of your belongings; Avoid taking out your smartphone if you don't absolutely need to. Personally, I even alight a bus or jeepney if I get a gut feel that something wrong will happen or if I see a passenger who looks and acts suspicious.