Thu, 23 Nov 2000

Bus robberies

On Sept. 3 and Sept. 22, I traveled from Yogyakarta to Denpasar at night by bus: the Safari Dharma Raya, Super Executive. Both times I was robbed.

The first time I lost a valuable IBM Thinkpad 240x computer. The last time the robber only managed to get my wallet before I caught him, a 29-year-old man from Bandung. He is now supposedly in police custody in Banyuwangi.

For me, a single foreign traveler in his 50s, this was a shocking experience. No one on the bus assisted me when I cried out maling (thief) and shouted to the driver stop polisi (stop and report to the police). The second driver just continued sleeping. The conductor just smiled, and went back to his place at the front of the bus.

The driver, however, stopped after some minutes. Not to let the police enter the bus -- but to let three or four passengers quickly escape from the bus, in a deserted area before Banyuwangi. These people were probably members of the gang of robbers. Finally, after half an hour of more or less fighting with the robber, I was able to hand him over to the police in Banyuwangi.

Safari Dharma Raya said they were not responsible if passengers were robbed. This is ridiculous. They are very much responsible. My impression is that they have staff who seem more interested in cooperating with the robbers instead of stopping them. Is Safari Dharma Raya not responsible for their own rules and for the actions of their staff? I expect their response and also compensation for my stolen computer.