A 42-year-old man from West Java was arrested at his home on Thursday 12th May for stealing the laptop bag of a Russian tourist. The incident was caught on the CCTV of the domestic airport’s Starbucks cafe making it very easy for the police to track down the thief.
Some commentators are suggesting that 21-year-old Russian tourist Stanislav Karpekin was foolish to leave his bag out of his sight for even a second. Others are suggesting that the thief named Solehudin from Indramayu in West Java was asking to get caught red-handed for stealing in such a heavily monitored area.
According to the Head of the Criminal Investigation Unit at I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport, Iptu I Kadek Supendodi, Stanislav Karpekin reported his bag missing as soon as he’d noticed it was gone. Karpekin and his girlfriend arrived at the airport around 11 am, after checking in they went to wait for their flight at the Starbucks cafe in the domestic departure terminal. They left their bags insight at a table while they queued to order their drinks. It was during this time that Solehudin swept through and snatched the bag without their noticing.
It wasn’t until Karpekin and his girlfriend went to leave Starbucks at 1 pm did they notice that the bag was missing. They asked the baristas if they had had a bag handed in, which they had not. Karpekin and his girlfriend immediately reported the missing bag to the airport security team.
Karpekin’s bag contained his laptop, passport, and other important and valuable items. The CCTV footage reveals how Solehudin snatched the bag and immediately exited the airport. The CCTV footage from inside Starbucks and across the domestic terminal was used to follow his steps.
Iptu Supendodi from the Criminal Investigations Unit at Bali Airport said ‘You can clearly see a man wearing a dark green shirt that says Converse, cream pants, brown shoes and wearing a hat. The incident was then reported to the I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport Regional Police Headquarters’.
The regional police then reviewed the CCTV footage from across the airport and gathered statements from Karpekin, his girlfriend, and the staff at Starbucks. In the space of just 6-hours, the police were able to locate Solehudin at his apartment on Jalan Gunung Soputan in West Denpasar and arrest him.
Police have reported that they suspect Solehudin was going to attempt to sell the items in the bag and use the money to cover his living costs. Though Solehudin would have traveled to Bali Airport with the intention of snatching a bag, it seems that he was acting alone rather than part of a criminal gang. That being said, police have revealed that Solehudin was arrested back in 2016 when he was also caught bag snatching at Bali Airport. Fortunately, all of the items in the stolen bag were still intact and were returned to Karpekin.
Solehudin is currently being held at the police headquarters in Denpasar awaiting trial after being charged with theft. Since he is a repeat offender he is facing up to 5-years in prison. Travelers are reminded that although Bali Airport management and security do all they can to ensure incidences like this do not happen that bag thieves do operate in and around the airport. Though police and airport management act swiftly should a theft occur, travelers are encouraged to keep their possessions on their person at all times and to never let their luggage out of their sight even in more relaxed areas of the airport like the lounges and cafes.
This incident of theft comes in the same week as a British cryptocurrency trader was found guilty of aggravated assault and theft of a villa in Seminyak. He awaits sentencing and is likely to be given the full 12-year stint in prison.
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