Sun, 18 Jun 2000

Two thieves beaten to death

DENPASAR, Bali (JP): Two alleged long-time crooks were killed by angry residents and three others were shot in their legs during a pre-dawn police action on Jl. Imam Bonjol here on Saturday.

The incident broke around 2 a.m. local time when three police detectives, led by First Lt. Hussein Abubakar intercepted a burglary attempt in a garment shop called Windy Collection. The seven-member group of armed robbers were preparing to break in and get away with a stand-by Kijang Van.

"We were outnumbered by the culprits and had to open fire at the gang. Two members of the gang fled and are currently being tracked down," Hussein said later in the day.

Sounds of gunfire awakened the locals who joined the chase. Kusnan, 45, and Centel, 35, tried to escape the pursuers by jumping into the river, but unfortunately angry locals captured them and beat the two to death.

"We tried to save them but the mob went brutal," he said, adding that the vigilante action was the first recorded here this year.

Three other gang members identified as Nur Agian, Nyarto and M. Safaat were shot in their legs by police.

Police also seized beach sarongs worth around Rp 50 million, along with sharp objects and tools, from the van.

"The group used to steal beach sarongs from shops in Sanur and Kuta to be sold in Java," Hussein added. (zen/edt)