Tue, 16 Dec 2003

Police say street crime becoming more widespread

Damar Harsanto, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

City police said on Monday that street crime, or crimes targeting people on the street, have been on the rise amid heightened security measures carried out by residents of housing complexes.

"Intensive patrolling in housing complexes, backed up by patrol policemen, has deterred criminals and changed their targeted victims to people on the street," said city police spokesman Sr. Comr. Prasetyo.

He referred to several locations and public buses that were prone to robbery, including Cempaka Putih intersection, Central Jakarta; Pramuka intersection, East Jakarta; and public buses plying the Senen to Pulogadung, Pulogadung to Kampung Rambutan and Tanjung Priok to Grogol routes.

Prasetyo said that police had arrested a total of 76 robbery suspects and shot dead four of them in a 10-day operation code- named Curas Jaya 2003.

"Most of the suspects are members of robbery syndicates who targeted people on the street and passengers aboard public transportation vehicles," he said.

Eighteen of the suspects were on the police wanted list while the remaining 58 had been captured red-handed by police detectives.

"One of the robbery suspects had even attempted to rob a policeman in plainclothes," Prasetyo said.

The greatest number of arrests was made by East Jakarta Police, with 12 people apprehended.

The operation, which was carried out from Dec. 1 through Dec. 10, was also aimed at ensuring security in the capital ahead of Christmas and New Year celebrations, he said.

Late on Sunday, Antarida Napitupulu, 33, a resident of Jl. Cempaka Baru Tengah II, Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, was robbed by an unidentified man aboard a public minibus on Jl. Kramat Bundar, Senen, Central Jakarta.

The robber threatened her with a broken glass bottle, grabbed her bag and fled the scene. The robber managed to get away with only Rp 80,000 (US$9.4) in cash and two cell phones.

Despite police claims that many robbers have changed the focus of their attention to people on the street, robbery in residential areas still occurred on Sunday and Monday.

Early on Monday, a group of 10 people robbed the home of Marca, 52, who is also an owner of a small beverage factory, in Buaran, Serpong, Tangerang.

They threatened members of the family with three pistols and iron bars and stole Rp 58 million in cash.

On Sunday evening, Ing Tefa, 63, a resident of Jl. Regency II, Gelam Jaya, Pasar Kemis, Tangerang, was also robbed by an unidentified man in her home. As she put up resistance, the robber attacked her with a machete. She suffered injuries to her neck, jaws, nose, lips and left forearm.

Every day, up to four robberies are reported to the police. Robbery is the third-most recorded offense in the city after auto theft and burglary.