Thu, 04 May 2000

Police shoot dead six robbery suspects

BANDUNG (JP): Six men, believed to be members of a crime syndicate, were shot dead by Bandung Police detectives in a shootout in nearby Cimahi on Tuesday.

Another alleged thief, an Army lieutenant, was injured in the drama.

Bandung City Police chief Yusuf Manggabarani identified the dead men on Wednesday as Kating Siregar, Asmar Joni Nainggolan, Dani Harahap, Sahat Hasibuan, Ronald Simson Manurung and Deden Sianipar. All were shot in the chest and torso.

"The Army officer identified as Second Lt. Ronald Hasudungan Sinaga, who was shot in the head, is now being treated at Hasan Sadikin General Hospital," Yusuf said.

The police tracked down the alleged thieves after reports from people who had been burglarized revealed a similar pattern in all the burglaries which indicated it was the same gang, Yusuf said.

The suspects allegedly broke into the house of legislator Lt. Col. Nyoman Ester in Margahayu Raya housing complex on April 23., he added.

"When the police showed them (victims of the burglaries) three pictures of wanted men, they said they were among the criminals."

The search for the thieves, led by Lt. Col. Elman Lembong, began on Tuesday and the police officers patrolled Batujajar where they heard the gang planned to rob a house.

The police saw a red Toyota Kijang carrying the seven wanted men and ordered the driver to stop. The van changed course and sped toward Cimahi.

The vehicle stopped only after the police fired warning shots. "However, three of the criminals, including the Army officer, got out of the car and attempted to resist arrest," Yusuf said, adding that the Army officer produced a gun and Asmar Joni was holding a machete. "The policemen had to shoot them."

Two of the criminals, Kating and Asmar Joni died at the scene while the other four died on the way to the hospital.

Meanwhile in Jayapura, Irian Jaya an Army member and four policemen were arrested for allegedly attacked a taxi driver on Tuesday. The driver, identified as Muslimin, 20, suffered from severe stab wounds and is being treated at the Navy Hospital.

Jayapura local police chief Lt. Col. Daus Sihombing refused to identify the attackers. The cause of the assault also remained unknown.

The incident happened 24 hours after the arrival of Army chief of staff Gen. Tyasno Sudarto, who was hoping to mend ties between the military and civilians in the easternmost province. (25/sur/eba)