Caps banned as Philippine malls fight crime

Caps banned as Philippine malls fight crime
Greenhills is a popular shopping centre in the Philippines.

MANILA - Police in the Philippine capital have banned the wearing of caps in shopping malls to stop criminals concealing their identity from security cameras.

The ban was imposed after a gang of hammer-wielding robbers looted a jewellery store at a popular suburban Manila shopping mall on December 15. The suspects are believed to have used baseball caps to hide their identities.

Police officials for Manila and its suburbs met with shopping mall security officials last week, telling them to bar people wearing caps from entering as a security precaution, said Metro Manila police spokesman Chief Inspector Robert Domingo.

"We studied their strategies. If they want to commit a crime, they wear caps. That way, the (closed circuit) TV will not be able to photograph their faces," he told AFP Monday.

He said mall security guards had been instructed to politely ask those wearing caps or any hats that may hide their faces, not to wear them inside.

Malls are packed during the Christmas season and the jewellery store robbery had panicked thousands of shoppers, drawing the attention even of President Benigno Aquino.

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