Tue, 09 Aug 1994

Beware of thieves in public transports

From Berita Buana

On Saturday, July 16, the Mikrolet minibus which my wife and I were riding picked up four men about ten meters away from the traffic light at the Jl. Otista III and Jl. Otista Raya intersection. The men, whose ages ranged from 45 to 50 years old and rather heavy, got into the vehicle which serves the Kampung Rambutan terminal and Kampung Melayu terminal in East Jakarta. By their neat appearance and the clothes they wore, they seemed to be staff members of a company.

One of them took a seat on my left, two others sat opposite me and the last one sat close to the vehicle's rear door. They filled all the seats on the bus.

On the way to Kampung Melayu terminal, all of a sudden one of the men sitting opposite of me gripped his left leg tightly and cried out as if he were in extreme pain. He said that his leg was cramping. Then he politely asked me to stretch out my right leg so he could stretch his cramped leg.

When I moved my leg, he suddenly grabbed it and strangely used my leg to massage his painful limb. The other passengers were busy trying various ways to help relieve him of his pain.

As the vehicle was about to arrive at Kampung Melayu terminal, I found that my wallet, which I keep inside my left trouser pocket was missing, but I saw it lying on the floor of the vehicle. I immediately thought that my wallet had simply fallen out of my pocket. I knew that the cloth of my pocket was too smooth and loose to hold my wallet. So, I asked my wife to keep it inside her handbag.

At home, when I wanted to buy something, I was shocked to see all my money had disappeared although my identity card, driving license, and other papers were still there.

Then I realized that the man who sat on the left side of me stole my money while my attention was drawn to his friend suffering from the sudden pang in his leg.

I later learned that several people have also been victims of such crimes.


East Jakarta