Wed, 21 Jun 2000

Police arrest Kamra member for stealing handgun

TANGERANG (JP): Ciledug Police have charged a 19-year-old civilian militia (Kamra) member with stealing a revolver from a security guard, an officer said on Monday.

Gunawan was arrested shortly after local police detectives discovered the stolen handgun during a drug raid. The gun was allegedly in the possession of Dewansyah, 21, a former junior high school classmate of Gunawan's, Tangerang Police chief Lt. Pudji Hartanto said.

According to Dewansyah, the gun was in his possession at the time because he had agreed to pay Gunawan Rp 500,000 (US$58) for the gun.

Dewansyah did not disclose the reason he wanted a lethal weapon. Instead he said that he was just unlucky on June 11 when police found the gun inside his shirt during the raid in Pondok Pucung.

"I told them I was drug-free, but the officers managed to find the gun," Dewansyah said.

Officer Pudji said the gun had been stolen on May 25 by Gunawan from the drawer of Second Lt. Sugiyo, head of the public guidance unit at Ciledug Police substation, where Gunawan is also posted.

Gunawan said he stole the gun to help his poor parents put his three younger siblings through school.

"I just wanted to help my father because his income as an ojek (motorcycle taxi) driver is far from enough to feed his five children," said the suspect, who is the second eldest in the family.

After stealing the gun, Gunawan said he wrapped it in plastic and buried it in the yard of his family's home in Pedurenan Timur village, Ciledug.

"My monthly salary of Rp 200,000 as a Kamra member is not enough to help my parents pay for the schooling of my younger brothers and sister," he said.

Gunawan said he regretted his wrongdoing.

"I took the wrong way," he said.

According to officer Pudji, Gunawan will be brought to court in accordance with the law even though he is a Kamra member, because the crime he committed could have endangered the lives of other people.

But Pudji did not explain whether he would fire Gunawan, who -- like other Kamra members in Tangerang -- is under his supervision as chief of the Tangerang Police.

The officer said that at least 30 Kamra members had been fired since the introduction of Kamra in late 1998 for misconduct.

The Tangerang Police have hired 2,493 Kamra members.

"But 70 of them resigned after getting better jobs," Pudji said. (ind/41)