Fri, 03 Mar 2000

Car theft suspect nabbed

TANGERANG (JP): Tangerang Police detectives have arrested the suspected leader of a notorious car theft syndicate that has been operating in the country's main cities.

Police arrested Heppy Kinan alias Yopi or Eyet, 48, at his rented house in Cirendeu of Ciputat district, Tangerang Police chief detective Capt. Rahmad Wibowo said on Thursday.

Five Toyota Kijang vans, four Isuzu Panther vans, one Suzuki Escudo and a BMW 320i sedan were seized as evidence.

Heppy confessed to the police that he stole the vehicles from rental car businesses by disguising himself as a guest in expensive hotels in Jakarta, Malang, Yogyakarta and Surabaya.

"He rented a car along with the driver. On their trip, he then drugged the driver with some kind of sleeping pills," Tangerang Police deputy chief Maj. Arifin said.

After the driver fell asleep, Heppy then moved to a cheap hotel and left the victim there, Arifin said. "He usually told the hotel clerks that the driver was drunk and needed to rest."

Heppy reportedly received orders for the stolen cars from brokers named Azier Tabrani, 48, a local from Lampung, and Ari, 34, a resident of Jl. Haji Nawi in Radio Dalam area, South Jakarta.

The suspect admitted to selling the cars for Rp 17 million to Rp 27 million each. (41/edt)