Tue, 06 Mar 2001

Unfortunate hiding place turns into trap for thief

JAKARTA (JP): A novice thief ended up hiding under a bed after scrambling for safety on Saturday, a decision which led to his capture.

The suspect, identified as Purwanto, 28, sneaked into the bedroom of Iyem, a housemaid of British national Roger Askinton, after he found trouble descending a septic tank pipe.

"Like a fool, Purwanto hid under the bed. Iyem knew this and quietly told her boss, who then locked the room from the outside and called up his driver, Hartono, for help," Kebayoran Lama police chief of detectives and intelligence First. Insp. Ayep Wahyu Gunawan, told reporters.

Ayep quoted the Klaten, Central Java native as adding that he was sure of his safety.

Hartono came back to the house in the TVRI housing complex in Grogol Selatan, South Jakarta with security guards and Purwanto gave himself up without a struggle.

Purwanto, who lived on Jl. Kemandoran I near Askinton's residence, was a construction worker. Ayep said he was tired of his small salary and was inspired to rob when he saw the empty streets of the TVRI housing complex.

The suspect climbed the septic tank pipe that led to the roof of Askinton's house, Ayep said.

"He broke into Askinton's study and stole a fax machine, a walkman, some VCDs (video compact discs), and some of the host's clothes and put the things into a bag he had already found in the room," Ayep said.

The suspect passed through the kitchen as he found trouble leaving the house, according to Ayep.

"Upon hearing noises in the kitchen, Iyem left her room and informed her boss. Purwanto entered the housemaid's room and hid under the bed," Ayep said.

Police confiscated a sickle and a pair of scissors from Purwanto. (ylt)