A famous funny video that’s doing the rounds of WhatsApp, YouTube and other social media for a few years now has a man on a motorbike stopping on a somewhat deserted road to give money to a poor beggar huddled on the sidewalk.
As he takes out his wallet and opens it, a man comes out of nowhere, grabs it and runs away. As the guy gets off his motorbike to chase after the thief, the beggar throws off his blanket and takes off on his bike. As the shocked guy tries to call for help on his phone, another two men on a bike come from behind and snatch it, too!
Triple strike or triple whammy! Take your pick.
HCM City resident Nguyễn Ngọc Tĩnh will not find that video very funny.
The 34-year-old man was riding his expensive Airblade motorbike along Tùng Thiện Vương Street in District 8 at around 2pm last Tuesday when two young guys on another bike came from behind and kicked him off the bike.
When he fell off, one of the guys quickly hopped on Tĩnh’s bike and drove away. Hurt and in a daze, Tĩnh only managed to stand up about five minutes later as three young men on a bike stopped and solicitously asked him how he was doing.
They asked Tinh to give them his mobile phone so they could call the police for him. As soon as he pulled his smartphone out of his pocket, the trio snatched at it, but Tinh had the presence of mind to hold firmly to his phone and scream for help, whereupon the trio fled the scene.
Did the prank video inspire the thieves? If the police do not catch the culprits, we might never know. But we do know this: among HCM City’s infamous snatchers, a new modus-operandi is in operation. — VNS