Car Theft at the Church's Parking Lot

Many weeks ago, there has been reported a car theft at the church's parking lot. The parish church has two areas for parking. The main bigger parking lot is at the front of the church close to the narthex. The other parking lot is behind the main church building. This second parking area is closer to the parish hall and the parish office. The theft occurred at the main parking lot.

I distinctly remember when I was about to leave after my service the last morning mass (10:30am), I heard a commotion at the parking lot. Most other vehicles have left except an olive-green colored van. Apparently, the van was broken into. The family of the van's owner was near the van looking distressed. I overheard the dad telling a few men about the items that were stolen: bags, purses, ipads and some electronic gadgets. The deacon looked concerned while listening to the dad.

Lone Security Guard Manning the Area

It may seem surprising though how these malefactors could pull such a theft at almost noon in broad daylight. In that time slot, the main parking lot becomes quite full that the other vehicles spillover to the parking lot at the back. Well, the parking lot may be full of vehicles, but certainly not of people.

The lone security guard assigned to the church basically has his hands full trying to guide other vehicles entering to park at the back or to park somewhere else. He also maintains the traffic in the area between entering and exiting vehicles.

My guess is that the car thief approached the area when the main parking lot was already full. The Holy Mass was still going on and there was hardly anyone in the main parking lot. He may have had a lookout too, just in case.

Reminders regarding Valuables and Locking Vehicles

Well today, when I was about to start my usual reminders for the Holy Sacrament of Baptism, the deacon approached me. He briefly told me to mention about locking vehicles left in the parking lot as well as the reminder to not leave valuables inside the vehicles. And so, I incorporated that announcement in my now growing list of reminders prior to the sacrament.

It goes like this: "Please don't forget to lock your parked vehicles. Do not leave your valuables inside."

Heightened Security during Sunday Masses

Lately, I also noticed a policeman or two stationed at the parking lot during the Sunday masses. Some other times, I see barangay tanods in a patrol tricycle watching under the shade of a tree at the parking lot.

It may be a knee-jerk reaction to the prior weeks' incident. Nonetheless, their presence is a welcome change. They not only maintain the general peace and order, but they also assist in the smooth maneuvering of traffic.

A couple of them already recognize me and my lector/commentator uniform. They would sometimes wave at me as I pass by riding my bicycle.