Thursday, May 12, 2011

Towards Lesser Crime In JB (10)

Snatch Theft 

Snatch Thieves Meek As Mice Before Men In Blue

THEY may look tough while threatening a woman with a parang to hand over her handbag, but when faced with the men in blue, two snatch-thieves turned pale.

The suspects in their 20s had merely minutes earlier stopped a woman, who was walking along Jalan Sri Lanang in Johor Baru at about 1.30am on April 26.

Armed with a parang, they forced the victim to hand over her handbag, before fleeing the scene on a motorcycle.

However, the victim’s boyfriend, who witnessed the incident, gave chase on his motorcycle while the victim called the Johor police hotline and relayed the description of the suspects and their motorcycle to the officer in charge.

Johor Baru (south) police chief ACP Zainuddin Yaacob said a mobile police crime prevention patrol unit in the vicinity was alerted by the Central Monitoring Centre based at the Johor police contingent here.

Within minutes of the alert, the policemen had spotted and intercepted the suspects.

The suspects meekly handed over the handbag without the slightest struggle.

Zainuddin said the handbag was found to belong to the victim.

It contained her identification documents, ATM bankcards and mobile phone.

He said the suspects in custody were believed to be members of a snatch-theft group that had been active since the beginning of the year.

The thieves worked in pairs and targeted women in the area.

Initial investigations revealed that the suspects’ modus operandi included stopping motorcyclists with female pillion riders under the pretext of asking for directions.

While one asked for directions, the accomplice would snatch the woman’s handbag.

Force or weapons were used when faced with feisty victims.

The suspects have previous criminal records for petty crime and drug abuse.

They have been remanded under Section 395/397 of the Penal Code for gang and armed robbery and face a 20-year imprisonment term and whippings if found guilty.

Source: New Straits Times - May 9, 2011

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Police arrested 14 men, all in their 20s and 30s, in connection with the death of a woman during a botched snatch theft here on Friday February 24, 2011.
They were picked up by a special team from the Johor police contingent headquarters.

Police also raided several budget hotels and three known drug haunts in the Tampoi area, where they believed the wanted suspects were hiding, in the district-wide effort to arrest those responsible.
A police source said the suspects included some foreigners.

"The suspects, mainly motorcyclists, are believed to be repeat robbers and snatch thieves as some have prior records."
"All have also tested positive for drugs after their arrests," said the source.

The source said snatch theft gangs were rampant along some busy stretches in the city.
Police forensic personnel examining the spot at Km8.9 of Jalan Skudai, Johor Baru, where a pillion rider was killed yesterday. — NST picture by Jassmine Shadiqe
Police forensic personnel examining the spot at Km8.9 of Jalan Skudai, Johor Baru, where a pillion rider was killed. — Photo Source: New Straits Times - February 25, 2011

On Friday morning, February 24, 2011, 52-year old Alamelu Ramasamy was killed at Km8.9 Jalan Skudai during a snatch theft attempt by two men on separate motorcycles.

In the 6am incident at Km8.9 of Jalan Skudai, three men, believed to be foreigners, each riding a motorcycle, allegedly boxed in D. Ganesh, 36, and his sister-in-law, Alamelu Ramasamy, 52, who was pillion riding.

One of the men was said to have tried to snatch Alamelu's pouch bag, causing her to fell backwards and Ganesh to lose control of his machine.

Alamelu died on the spot after falling off a motorcycle during the robbery attempt.

Ganesh, who stays with his brother and sister-in-law in Taman Universiti here, was sending Alamelu to the JB Sentral bus station to take a bus to Singapore, where she worked as a cleaner, when the incident happened.

The incident caused a traffic jam as motorists slowed down to catch a glimpse of what had happened.
Police forensic personnel were seen collecting evidence at the scene.

Earlier, Johor police chief Datuk Mokhtar Shariff said police were trying to ascertain if the incident was a snatch theft case because,

"The victim's belongings were intact and there are reasonable doubts as the victim was said to have a history of breathing difficulties and asthma," he said.

"There is a possibility that Alamelu died of cardiopulmonary arrest or in layman's term, a heart attack."


Johor police chief Datuk Mokhtar Shariff, in confirming the 14 men's arrests said:

"The order has been out to all district police chiefs to aggressively monitor various areas in the state to curb and prevent snatch thefts."

"All police districts will deploy their regular police patrol, plainclothes crime prevention teams, motorcycle Ninja squads and also mobile police vehicles to actively monitor urban roads and residential areas."

Traffic police personnel will assist in the efforts by concentrating their policing on the roads during peak hours in the morning and evenings.

Police had mounted roadblocks in several high density stretches in the Tampoi area where the incident took place.

Jalan Skudai saw minor traffic congestion as police personnel screened motorcyclists.

Snatch theft gangs were rampant along the stretch between 5.45am and 7.30am, targetting the thousands of motorcyclists heading for their workplace in Singapore.

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Enforcement Lacking In Johor Baru

I REFER to the report ‘Shahrir chides blogger over ‘sin city’ JB, (The Star, April 27).
The United States based Malaysian blogger Dr Azly Rahman seems better informed than our own Member of Parliament!
Elected persons should walk with the common folk to gauge the problems in the city.
Sitting in five-star hotels and coffeehouses will not help! It is a different plain altogether.
A mere walk along the backlane between Jalan Wong Ah Fook and Meldrum in the evening will lend support to Dr Azly’s views.
The backlane in the city centre where hawkers ply their trade is infested with overfed rats and cockroaches and the manholes are not covered and pose a danger to pedestrians, especially senior citizens and children.
It seems reports have been made by hawkers but no action taken.
And for a gateway city to have such despicable backlanes is a shame.
The other evening as I sat dining at the Peking Restaurant in Sentosa, a group of Singaporean diners paid their bill and went to the car park but soon came back exclaiming that their car had been stolen!
Claims by authorities that the crime rate has fallen may be an incorrect assertion. It may be correct to say that reports of crime has fallen because victims don’t report cases as they feel nothing will come out of it.
In this country we have numerous laws and regulations but we are lackadaisical in our inspection and enforcement.
At times we are selective in what we do.
Johor Baru.

Source: The Star - Friday, April 29, 2011 


Proactive Measures Need To Be Taken

I REFER to “Enforcement lacking in Johor Baru” and "Students at mercy of snatch thieves" (The Star, April 29).
Instead of taking action to tackle the problems highlighted by the public, the authorities chose to remain in a state of denial, either by publishing statistics that paint a rosy picture or by dismissing public complaints as baseless.
The authorities need to keep in mind it is their responsibility to change negative perceptions that locals or foreigners have towards the cities. This task cannot be accomplished by mere words without substantial actions.
Proactive measures need to be taken to curb crime and to improve the physical amenities.
The intended outcome would be having the residents wholeheartedly agreeing with the authorities that their cities are a great place to live in.
Kuala Lumpur.

Source: The Star - Tuesday, May 3, 2011

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