A 26-year-old man from Bali has been arrested by local police after snatching a tourist’s mobile phone from her hand in a drive-by robbery. The incident occurred around 5.30 pm on Friday 24th June. The perpetrator was caught by police on Sunday evening.
Lalith Kumar Daga Chhagan Lal, 35, from India was on holiday in Bali when her phone was snatched from her hand as she was searching GoogleMaps. Lal was holding her iPhone 11 outside the Bali Galeria Mall as she and her husband were looking for directions. The next thing they are aware of was a motorcycle carrying two people driving past them in a flash and the motorcycle passenger swiping the phone from her grip.
According to the police report the moped then drove away and turned down a narrow alleyway and out of sight. Lal and her husband immediately alerted the police and they launched an investigation to track down the motorcycle and the driver.
After gathering statements from Lal and her husband, as well as eye witnesses, police were able to create a description of the bike, the driver, and the suspect. Police were alerted to a sighting of the suspect on the Ngurah Rai Bypass in Kuta on Sunday afternoon and the police ‘gave chase’.
Police were able to catch and arrest I Wayan G close to the BIMC Hospital in Kuta. He was driving a black and brown Honda Vario moped and was found in possession of Lal’s iPhone 11. Police arrested him at the scene and were bought in for questioning.
During the interrogation, I Wayan G admitted to stealing the iPhone and was found to be a serial offender known to Bali Police. He is thought to still be in police custody awaiting charge and trial. The phone has been returned to Lal and she is believed to be OK despite the stressful ordeal. I Wayan G now faces up to 9 years in prison for his actions with consideration of his past offenses.
As Bali becomes increasingly busy heading into peak season, travelers and tourists are reminded to play an active role in crime prevention. While victims can never be blamed for crimes that happen against them, there are precautions travelers can take to help safeguard themselves from opportunistic thieves.
This includes not walking down the street or standing at the side of the road with a mobile phone on show. Tourists are especially vulnerable to phone snatching when walking down the street following online maps. This is also true for having cameras hanging on one shoulder and loosely carrying GoPro cameras, or riding a moped with a GoPro camera.
Travelers are also reminded to keep an eye on their bags at all times and to carry rucksacks on the front rather than their backs where possible when walking in busy areas or driving scooters. While Bali Police work around the clock to ensure that everyone in Bali is safe from thieves, unfortunately, criminals do operate on the holiday island.
Travelers are reminded to take out fully comprehensive travel insurance before they visit Bali and to double-check that the policy provides compensation for stolen belongings.
This latest tourist target theft happened close to the busy shopping district in Kuta. In recent weeks there have been a series of phone and bag snatching at Bali’s Ngurah Airport too. On 4th June Mubinoto Amy was arrested at his home in the Jalan Laksamnana VIII area in East Denpasar for stealing two iPhones.
Amy was found in the possession of Roger Paulus Silalahi’s work and personal iPhone X and iPhone 11 Pro Max at the time of his arrest. Police reported that Silalahi accidentally left his iPhones on the sideboard of a bathroom in the domestic terminal building of Ngurah Rai Airport.
This created an opportunity for Amy, who is thought to have been in the airport with the intention of stealing tech, snatched the devices and made a swift exit from the building.
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