Sun, 13 Aug 2000

Armed man shot dead by police in robbery attempt

JAKARTA (JP): A member of an ax-wielding gang, that preys on motorists and taxi passengers for their valuables, was shot dead on Friday evening by a police officer near the busy Jl. Pemuda intersection in East Jakarta.

First Insp. Freddy Sambo from the local precinct identified the suspect as Rancus Simanjuntak, 23, a member of the Red Axe Gang.

According to officer Freddy, Rancus was shot dead at 6.50 p.m. after he and two gang members attempted to rob a passenger of a Blue Bird Taxi while stopped by the traffic light at the intersection.

Police preliminary investigation disclosed that the passenger, Alfred Parlian Parlindungan, was on his way from Cempaka Mas area in Central Jakarta to Pejompongan area, still in Central Jakarta, when he saw three men approaching the taxi near the traffic light.

Freddy quoted Alfred as saying that the passenger saw a young man, followed by two other men, coming to the taxi and suddenly opened the right passenger door of the vehicle which was unlocked.

Pointing a red axe Rancus ordered Alfred to hand over all his valuables, the officer said.

According to Alfre, Rancus told him: "Don't resist or we will kill you."

However, Alfred hastily opened the other door and screamed loudly for help, said Freddy, who is also deputy chief of the East Jakarta Police detective unit.

Alerted by the scream, a police officer rushed to the scene and began chasing the three crooks, who hastily dispersed.

The officer, Freddy said, finally managed close with Rancus, who then tried to attack the officer with his axe.

"Since the officer felt that his life was in danger, he fired his gun at the robber," said Freddy.

The two other hoodlums escaped.

Rancus was admitted to Sukanto Police Hospital in Kramatjati, East Jakarta for medical treatment, but he died shortly after he received treatment, Freddy explained

The deceased was then brought to Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital for post mortem examination.

According to Freddy, police have already been assigned to locate the other two members.

A number of ax-wielding gangs once spread fear to motorists, particularly lonely female drivers, as the culprits usually used axes in their operations to threaten victims and break the car windows to take mobile phones, cash, jewelry and vehicle side mirrors.

Their numbers have been declining in the past few months after police officers managed to apprehend some of them. (asa)