Many years ago, a cousin of ours FELL INTO an OPEN MANHOLE on a darkened sidewalk near the Cultural Center of the Philippines. She fell into the sewer, over 6 feet deep, and only suffered minor cuts and scrapes, thank goodness, as she could easily have suffered very serious injuries. At the time, it was explained that people stole all-steel manhole covers in order to sell them as scrap metal… In other work locally, I once read a report that some retail stores in the Philippines had amongst the highest levels of pilferage and shoplifting in Southeast Asia, and losses to employees and mostly customers/thieves were significantly above our Asian neighbors. For armed murders, The Philippines ranks in the world’s top 5 countries, not to mention other crime categories, and somehow we are the only majority Catholic nation in these parts… hmmmm. So let’s just say I wasn’t REALLY surprised, but still shook my head, when I went to take a leak, only to find the urinal bound in chains… :)
It seems that “urinal hardware thieves” had recently entered the bathroom at a strip mall (where we have a restaurant) and quickly took off the stainless steel mechanisms at the urinals and fled with their loot. Each urinal’s stainless steel hardware can fetch as much as PHP3,000 on the black market, so thieves have taken to stealing them from public restrooms. That’s OUTRAGEOUS! Not to mention leaving the water gushing onto the bathroom floor. It has already happened twice at this same location, hence the chains and locks. Of course if these guys are ever caught, they will probably spend years waiting for the justice system to mete them their punishment. But if it were up to me, which it isn’t, I would force them to spend the rest of their incarcerated life in a cell without a toilet or urinal. And you can read this old post about the theft of electrical wires in broad daylight… and the result of that poll in 2006 where I asked what the punishment should be? A majority of readers picked “ban them and all their descendants from future electrical connections…”.