Wed, 07 May 2003

Three killed in robbery in Medan

Apriadi Gunawan The Jakarta Post Medan

Robbers shot dead three people in a heist at the Medan branch of Bank Lippo on Tuesday, making off with the bank's cash box containing Rp 133 million (US$13,000).

Two of the bank's security guards, Eddi Ridwansyah and Syamsuddin, died at the scene. Joni Purba, who worked as a driver for the bank, died at a hospital belonging to the Police Mobile Brigade.

Witnesses counted four robbers at the Lippo branch on Jl. Dr. Mansyur. The heist took place outside the bank at 8:45 a.m. and lasted for about 10 minutes.

The bank was taking in the cash supply for the day's transactions, but without the customary police escort. Two of the robbers shot the driver and the security guards, shooting one guard in the head and the other in the chest.

"I heard four shots. Three were fired at the victims, another was fired into the air," said Kamarullah, a witness.

The four robbers escaped the scene on two motorcycles, carrying the cash box.

The three fatalities: Edi Ridwansyah, 43, and Syamsuddin, 44, who died on the scene were residents of Jl. Taduan and Jl. Pembangunan Helvetia respectively.

Another casualty who died at hospital Joni Purba, 30, was resident of Jl. Mumban Surbakti.

Medan Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Bagus Kurniawan blamed the Bank Lippo management for not providing the security guards with weapons.

He suggested that security guards should be given guns to defend themselves. He said that his office would quickly investigate the case.

According to Bagus, the fatal incident was the third robbery this year.

Kamarullah, an eyewitness, said that before killing the victims four robbers had been waiting at the scene for about 15 minutes.

He added that the four robbers acted quickly when they realized the cash box was being unloaded from the Kijang van.

Kamarullah meanwhile added that the robbers were thin and tall. One of them had short hair.

"I did not see their faces because the incident took place quickly and they escaped in the opposite direction of the traffic," he added.