Thu, 25 Mar 1999

Burglars tracked down and arrested in C. Java

JAKARTA (JP): City police detectives arrested two men believed to have stolen 2.5 kilograms of gold jewelry and US$58,000 in cash from a house belonging to a gold trader in South Jakarta two weeks ago, a police officer said.

The suspects, identified as Marsidi, 23, and Sumar, 33, were arrested on Monday at their houses in Bilangrejo village in Demak, Central Java, city police chief of detectives Col. Alex Bambang Riatmodjo said on Wednesday.

"The arrests were made after officers gathered evidence that they were the (three) people who committed the robbery in South Jakarta on March 13," Alex said.

"One of the suspects is still at large but we have discovered his whereabouts," he added.

The robbery occurred at Liem Min Chi's house, currently under renovation, in the Duren Villa housing complex in Cileduk.

According to Marsidi, a former minivan driver, he was told the gold jewelry was in the house by an accomplice, Kus, who was still at large.

He said Kus was a construction worker who was recruited by an agency to work on the renovation of Liem's house.

Marsidi said Kus told him he had seen Liem wash the jewelry and he planned to commit the robbery if the house was left empty.

"I agreed to join him because he promised me Rp 15 million for my share. So we came up with a plan (to steal the jewelry) and we invited another friend to carry out the crime," he said, referring to Sumar.

On March 13, Kus told Marsidi to come to the house at around 6 p.m. after the other construction workers had gone home.

"Sumar was told to wait outside the house while we searched for the jewelry inside the house," Marsidi said.

After finding the jewelry and the cash, the three fled the scene of the crime. Kus then sold the jewelry for around Rp 80,000 per gram.

Both Marsidi and Sumar were told by Kus to leave Jakarta after he paid them their share of the profits from the robbery, suggesting they return to their hometowns in Demak.

"I bought a motorcycle and spent the remaining money helping my parents renovate our house," Marsidi said.

Sumar said he spent the money on gambling, drinking and women.

"I never had a single thought about saving the money because I believed such 'hot' money would not last long."

Both suspects are being detained at city police headquarters for further questioning while police continue their search for Kus. (emf)