The jeepney-clinging man in the viral video dubbed the “Grand Taft Auto” turned out to be an actual street thief after he was arrested for stealing a cellphone in Manila.
Reports note that authorities arrested Jomar Alingod after a 54-year-old businesswoman complained that he stole her cellphone on the intersection of Finance Road, Ermita and Taft Avenue.
The victim was walking in the area when Alingod immediately grabbed her cellphone.
The incident didn’t surprise some Filipinos who shared their observations after news of the jeepney-clinging man first surfaced last month.
A social media user had previously uploaded footage of Alingod clinging to the side of a moving jeepney along Taft Avenue—specifically near the corner of the United Nations Avenue—as he tried grabbing someone who boarded the public transportation.
The caption stated: “Just so everybody knows, some dude was trying to get away from three other guys by hopping in the jeep. They eventually caught up and beat him as you can see in the video.”
Alingsod purported that he and his friends were chasing a certain Leonides Frago who he accused of harassing his friend’s wife in Rizal Park.
“Tatlong beses po binalikan ‘yung asawa ko, hinipuan… Nagtatanka po siyang tumakas, kaya sinundan po namin sa jeep,” Alingsod’s friend previously claimed.
Police authorities eventually brought them to the Manila City Hall so that they explain themselves to Manila Mayor Isko Moreno following the video’s virality.
The city chief also denied that they were snatchers at that time.
GRAND TAFT AUTO | Nag-ála Spiderman ang lalaking ito na lumambitin sa gilid ng jeep na bumabiyahe sa Taft Ave., Manila. Ayon sa uploader na si Ice Almocera, apat silang magkakasamang sumakay sa jeep dahil may hinahabol daw silang pasahero. For more latest stories, visit us at www.news5.com.ph
Posted by News5 on Sunday, November 17, 2019
By December 5, days after the incident, it was reported that Alingod was arrested for snatching a businesswoman’s cellphone on Taft Avenue.
The development prompted some Filipinos to call it “top 10 anime betrayals” since Alingod was initially lauded for chasing what they thought was a sexual harasser.
However, there were others who commented that the possibility of Alingod being a snatcher was not that far-fetched since he appeared to be used to climbing moving jeepneys.
“Wala naman kasing sasabit sa gilid ng jeep na parang sanay na sanay na ang purpose ay para tumulong gulpihin o hulihin ang nanghipo daw,” a Facebook user said.
“Sa galing ni kuya sumabit ‘di nakapagtataka na gawain din niyang maging snatcher,” wrote another user.
“No wonder magaling sumabit sa side ng jeep,” observed another user.
There were others who claimed that it might have been a “modus” by street snatchers especially in the Manila area.
“Modus nila ‘yan, ‘pag nahuli o may nakakita, gagawa ng eksenang gulo para lusot sila, mga professional na holdaper at snacher mga ‘yan sa kahabaan ng Taft Ave. hanggang Baclaran. Biruin niyo pati si Yorme Isko napaniwala nila dun sa viral video, pero ngayon nahuli din sila,” a social media user wrote.
Another Filipino tagged her friend and commented, “Ito yata ‘yung mga napagusapan natin nung nakaraan, mukhang totoo nga, modus lang yata nila ‘yung kunyari nahipuan kasama.”
Crime methods in the urban area have involved petty theft in public transportation.
Last July, a commuter warned the public of a particular modus that reemerged in city buses involving ketchup.