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Warning to all Cosplayers and Convention Attendees

I would like to share this very helpful information which talks about the people who are taking advantage of cosplayers and also the exhibitors during events. THese are people who steal valuable items from them so BE CAUTIOUS AND ALWAYS WATCHFUL.

The article below is originally published AT THIS LINK as written by Kel “ryokuzen” Ignacio. He is an event host, cosplayer, event goer and a concerned individual.

Cosplay Thievery: A Modus Operandi

by ryokuzen
Published on 04-12-2011 07:54 AM 0 Comments

Cosplay conventions.

They have been around in our small community for over a decade. Cosplay evolved as our community grew slowly. These conventions are our rendezvous points, where we can meet new cosplayers and event goers who share our passion. I myself used to be a common event goer, taking pictures of cosplayers, buying anime/manga goods, and much more. Eventually, I became a cosplayer myself. I can already feel what these people do every time there is a convention. I have no regrets; I am happy to be here.

As my passion for cosplay grew, I found myself in the middle of these conventions as an event host. I got to see these events in another point-of-view. I made more friends in the organizing body and from the exhibitors as well. I feel so blessed that I have come this far. Without these people, I would still be an ordinary event goer. But as the years went by and our hobby progressed, a menace, a cancer to our humble community was growing. Honestly, it’s getting out of hand. I am referring to a simple petty crime that seemed to evolve into an organized crime wave within cosplay conventions.

During our early years, theft of bags and other valuable stuff have been reported, but only a few of those cases got justice. We assumed that it was minor and we thought that it was just the owners' carelessness that led to those incidents. We let these kinds of petty crime alone, deciding our local security should do their work better. But times change and so does crime. Cases of theft grow every year; from a simple case of an unattended bag that got taken away, to a risky washroom snatching. For me, such actions and sleight of hands are not just out of whim; these thieves really did their homework.

Now, a decade of cosplay has gone by, and thievery during conventions has gotten worse. It was brought to my attention that not only the cosplayers and patrons are the victims, but even our exhibitors and sponsors as well. With these reports, it really pains me that these crimes get away with ease. Someone has to step up so that the public would be well aware of the current situation. And so, here I am, asking everyone to hear me out and take what I have to say to heart.

I believe we should really consider that the pilfering as of late has already become a modus operandi, or mode of operation. These thieves have already marked their targets and will only make their move if the victim is really vulnerable. They really don't pick any specific place. If the victim is totally occupied with something, these hoodlums will strike, anytime and anywhere. They could easily blend in with the cosplayers, by just simply dressing up like one. It's really hard for me digest this, that an actual thief is in our ranks. They conclude that a simple and cheap entrance fee that ranges from 100 to 150 pesos wouldn't hurt their operations, if in return they can just cash in their loot at quadruple the price they paid for by just entering an event area. Taking these things into consideration, we are now aware of their capabilities. It is up to us to stand up, take action, and recover from this cancer. We can make a difference... We can cure this.

We can always start from small actions and adapt. Spotting suspicious people in any event is indeed a hassle, but for the sake of our humble community, we can consider this a courtesy to our fellow event goers. My perpetual request is just this: DO KEEP IN MIND OF OUR BELONGINGS AND VALUABLE ITEMS. Let's face reality; within our events, there is no really safe place to leave our valuables unattended. People in an event come and go as they please; thieves could just blend in easily with the crowd. For all we know, the stranger beside, behind, or in front of you is a snatcher. As for the cosplayers always roaming around, it never hurts to tag along a friend or relative who can assist you during photo-ops with the numerous photographers in the area. Merchandise and valuables of exhibitors are not safe from this crime threat either. Even the general patrons of different events are targets. It doesn't matter who you are, or what you do inside the event, these crooks will always hunt inattentive prey.

Finally, my intentions with this statement are simple: social awareness and a complete alertness to our surroundings. With this in any of the events we attend, crimes like these can really be prevented. We don't need to assemble a task force to catch these thieves. If we ever catch these crooks red-handed, then it is a very huge step for us. This is a campaign that will make us realize, that with proper awareness, everyone can finally attend conventions and events with a smile and with less worries.

For there is no “I” in “TEAM”, but there is a “WE” in “WEAPON”!

Kel “ryokuzen” Ignacio
Event Host/ Cosplayer/ Event Goer/ Concerned

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