ANTIPOLO CITY – A city-wide police operation to apprehend those behind a surge of petty crimes specifically targeting recreational bicycle riders is currently underway in this city.
In an interview on Tuesday, Lt. Col. June Paolo Abrazado, the city’s chief of police, said the “Antipolo City Biker’s Watch” project was initiated amid observations that not enough was being done to protect bikers from robbers and thieves.
Antipolo is a favorite destination for bikers from other areas, because of its well-paved but uncongested roads and its stunning view of Metro Manila below.
“Perpetrators are victimizing bikers where there are no police personnel. Criminals scout around the area if there are police nearby before conducting their nefarious intentions,” Abrazado said.
The operation involves the deployment of police personnel near establishments serving refreshments as well as other areas where large numbers of bikers often stop to rest.
The police official said he also enlisted the help of barangay tanod (village watchmen), calling upon these “force multipliers” to help patrol the long stretches of Marcos Highway, Sumulong Highway, and other places where the often exhausted bikers are most vulnerable.
He added that the anti-crime initiative also involves the creation of a social media chat group through which bikers can alert lawmen about crimes being committed in real-time.
Abrazado, however, emphasized the biking community must also do their part to avoid being victims.
“We urge bikers to avoid leaving their cellphones and other valuables in places where criminals can easily grab and run away with them,” he said in Filipino.
The police chief also called on bikers who have been victimized by crooks to immediately head to the nearest police precinct and report the crime.
He lamented that much of the crime gets posted on social media long before they are reported to proper authorities.
“Perpetrators will already be outside Antipolo City area if the report will be received by the PNP 30 minutes after the incident,” Abrazado added. (PNA)