Mon, 17 Apr 2000

Body of suspected thief found in Cisadane river

JAKARTA (JP): Daan Mogot residents fished out the bloated corpse of a suspected thief from Cisadane River on Sunday morning, an officer said.

West Jakarta Police chief of detectives Capt. Sahar identified the decomposed body of the male suspect as Ucok, who jumped into the river to escape angry residents who were chasing him and three other men on Friday evening.

From Ucok's wet wallet, police also found a few custom-made nails allegedly used to scatter on roads to puncture the tires of lone motorists, who would be robbed after stopping.

"Ucok's corpse was fished out at about 7 a.m. on Sunday," Sahar said.

During their operation on Jl. Daan Mogot KM 13 on Friday evening, the alleged thieves were spotted by residents when lone motorist N.G. John, 26, screamed for help after being robbed.

One of them, Wawan Binyasin, 35, was arrested by the police while another suspect, Iskandar, 30, was attacked and killed by residents.

Ucok and the other suspect, Budhi Mamora, 26, who is missing, jumped into the river to avoid the crowd.

"Budhi is most likely dead somewhere in the river," officer Sahar said.

West Jakarta detectives, he said, had been after the four suspects since the beginning of the year.

"They have robbed people several times, using the same technique. They throw nails on the road, and wait for a car to drive by," he said.

"The car's tires get punctured and when the car owner gets out to change the flat tire, they rob the driver."

Based on police preliminary investigation, John was on his way home in his metallic blue Kijang van when one of his tires suddenly went flat.

When he got out of his van to change the flat tire, four men walked toward the vehicle. Two of the men approached John with knives and told him to hand over his valuables.

He offered them Rp 5,000. The two men then pushed John inside the car and took from him Rp 90,000 (US$12) and a wristwatch. They warned him not to scream.

As the four men started to walk away, John screamed for help. Nearby residents heard his cries, chased after the men and got hold of Wawan and Iskandar.

"They beat Iskandar to death. They would have done the same to Wawan but the police arrived in time to save him," Sahar said. (ylt)