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OFW loses $4,000 to ‘alley-alley’ thief

06 November 2018

By Vir B. Lumicao
CCTV footage shows the alleged pickpocket in the act of taking Olivar's wallet from her bag

A 45-year-old domestic worker has become the latest victim of a female pickpocket believed to be a Filipina who operates in the notorious “alley-alley” area in Central.

A CCTV footage showing the thief opening the back bag of Mary Jane Santiago Olivar and stealing her wallet last Sunday, Nov 4, has gone viral on Facebook and drawn the outrage of netizens and OFWs alike.

“Hindi ako naka-remit, ihuhulog ko pa lang sa account ko (ang pera),” Olivar told The SUN in an online interview on Nov. 6.

Olivar said the thief took more than $4,000 from her before she could even send the money to her family back home. 

The wallet was later found by another worker on a street in Central who knew Olivar's sister as they both lived in Yuen Long, and gave it to her. The wallet only had Olivar's HKID and ATM card, but her Octopus card was taken along with the cash.

The pickpocket is still at large and has been classified by the police as a “wanted person”. Anyone who knows her can report her to any police officer.

As of 5pm on Tuesday, the post had been shared 656 times and viewed 371,305 times, with 142 comments.

Most of the comments condemned the pickpocket, saying she was shaming her fellow Filipinos because of what she did. Others were furious at her for victimizing people who worked hard for their money.

The angry reactions came from OFWs as far away as the Middle East.

The victim said she passed through Li Yuen Street East, also popularly called “Alley-Alley 2” by Filipinos, at 7:44pm to pick up some items at a grocery there before returning to her employer’s home in Happy Valley.

“Bumili lang ako ng Kopiko, egg biscuits at coffee sa SMS Store,” Olivar said.

She has been in Hong Kong for more than 10 years, first working for five years for an employer on MacDonnell Road, Central, and nearly six years for the current employer.

Olivar told the police in a statement that she noticed her bag was open and her wallet gone when she got to Des Voeux Road. She immediately went back to the grocery store and requested to review the CCTV.

The footage showed her walking on the alley with a woman in a pink jacket behind her unzipping her bag. No one around seemed to notice the theft being committed.  Olivar is then seen walking back towards Des Voeux Road, Central on her way to taking a ride home to Happy Valley.

The victim posted the CCTV footage on Facebook and requested anyone who has seen it and knows the pickpocket to inform the police so they could arrest her.

“Panawagan sa mga kababayan natin dito, kung pwede makipag-ooperate naman kung sino man nakakilala sa babaeng ito na ituro siya dahil andami na niya nabiktima at malaya pang mabibiktima sa mga susunod,” one of Olivar’s friends commented on the post.

Olivar said just a few Sundays ago, the same woman was caught picking the bag of another worker in the same area but managed to run away after she was punched in the face by her victim.

A video footage sent by one netizen to Olivar showed the alleged thief being ganged upon by three Filipinas before she left the scene hastily.

Several months ago, a CCTV footage obtained by a victim from Prizemart store in the same alley showed a woman opening the backpack of another Filipina and taking her wallet.    

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