Wed, 05 Apr 2000

Police arrest two in spate of muggings

JAKARTA (JP): City police detectives have arrested two men believed to be responsible for a series of muggings in Jakarta and several cities in Malaysia, an officer said on Sunday.

Capt. Syafi'i, head of the Mobile Regiment of the Jakarta Police Detectives, identified the two suspects as Abas Holit, alias Olit, and Syarifudin, alias Yudi.

"Olit was arrested at his house in Pamulang, South Jakarta on Saturday night, while Yudi was apprehended several hours later at his boarding house on Jl. Dr. Sahardjo, also in South Jakarta, on Sunday," the officer said.

During preliminary questioning by police, the two admitted to committing the crimes.

They would stalk their victims in front of banks, Syafi'i said in a statement made available to The Jakarta Post.

Shortly after a customer would leave his or her bank, the two would follow their car, usually by motorcycle. When they came to a red light one of the suspects would puncture the victim's tire, forcing the victim to pull over to the side of the road.

The two would then jimmy open the door and grab the money, Syafi'i explained.

So far, Olit and Yudi confessed to only two similar robberies in Malaysia. The first one took place in August 1998 in Kuala Lumpur, in which they managed to make off with RM$100,000, Syafi'i said.

The other occurred in Johor. The two escaped with RM$50,000.

Syafi'i did not explain, however, whether Jakarta Police have contacted authorities in Kuala Lumpur and Johor to confirm statements made by the suspects.

In Jakarta, Olit and Yudi said they only carried out five robberies from December of last year until last month.

The first one happened in front of Taman Ria in Central Jakarta. The culprits claimed to have made off with Rp 17 million, Syafi'i said.

A month later they managed to steal Rp 16 million plying their trade on busy Jl. Sudirman, and in February the suspects said that they were able to subdue a bank customer at a gas station in Bukit Duri area, East Jakarta, and take Rp 25 million in cash. The two also mugged someone at Pasar Rumput area in South Jakarta few days later.

Police have seized a Yamaha Force One motorcycle, a Toyota Kijang van, a screwdriver, a fake ignition key, a passport bearing the name of someone called Harizal, and cash of Rp 675,000, Sin $38, and 10 Dutch Guilder.

The police started to search for the two men based on a report from one of the victims on March 9, Syafi'i said.

They are currently undergoing intensive questioning by police. (asa)