Fri, 05 Aug 1994

12 pickpockets nabbed on buses

JAKARTA (JP): Police announced yesterday that they captured 12 pickpockets operating aboard public buses during an anti- pickpocket operation conducted over the past several days.

The operation code named Jabus, or crime aboard public buses, was launched by police last Thursday in response to the public's concern over pickpockets on public transit vehicles in the city, especially on wide-body and minibuses.

Police received an average of six reports daily from pickpocket victims before the operation was launched, four of which were by women, said Lt. Col. Latief Rabar, a spokesman for City Police.

"They usually operate during rush hours in the morning when people go to office, and in the afternoon when people return home. The suspects always operate in a team of three or four people," Latief said yesterday.

In a drive to combat the crime, police deployed several groups of plainclothes detectives who pretended to be passengers on public buses plying the routes which were notoriously ridden with pickpockets.

Police captured three thieves red-handed on the air- conditioned RMB bus plying the Cililitan to Pulogadung route, two on the PPD regular bus plying the Kampung Melayu to Grogol route, four on the Mikrolet 12-seat minibus plying the Kebayoran Lama to Tanah Abang route, two on the Kopaja minibus plying the Kalideres to Kota route and another one on the Kopami minibus plying the Kalideres to Senen route.

The pickpockets, aged between 20 and 33, were identified as Yossi, Yati, Samito, Karso Siagian, Beni Mangunsong, Tribudi Lubis, Isnaedi, Adam, Aminuddin, Otto Bernard, Wisman, and Rudi Hartono.

"They are jobless and homeless," Latief said.

Police confiscated some stolen articles from them, including four wallets, two wristwatches, three ID cards, one driver's license, a golden necklace weighing 10 grams, Rp 24,000 (US$11.1) in cash and two machetes.

Latief said Operation Jabus would continue as long as the crime rate on buses remained high.

City Police Chief Maj. Gen. Mochammad Hindarto had earlier said that police would stage special operations from time to time to fight against the crime.

Hindarto said the police are asking the public to cooperate by reporting every case to police.(jsk)