Police in Bali have successfully arrested and charged two thieves who had been targeting foreigners. The two robbers were caught red-handed by Badung Police in the northern Kuta area. The two thieves had been running a slick operation until that point, using a moped as a quick getaway vehicle.
The duo had been the source of focus for Badung Police for some time, as officials were aware of their antics. This week Badung Police managed to make the streets of Kuta a little safer for tourists. The two men have been identified as Herry Ganesh Vijay, 18, and Agus Suhartono, 19.
The Chief of Badung Police, AKBP Leo Dedy Defretes, confirmed the duo’s arrest at a press conference on Thursday, 3rd November. He confirmed that the pair had primarily targeted foreign tourists at night and had stolen mostly mobile phones.
AKBP Defretes said, ‘These two perpetrators are indeed our [targets]. There were several foreigners who were snatched up, such as British, Russian, and other foreigners. During questioning, it came to light that Vijay and Suhartono had been running their robbery missions for over three months, specifically targeting international tourists in the Kuta area.
The Police Chief continued, ‘So according to the perpetrators, besides being easy to carry out the action, the goods brought by foreigners also have a high selling value’. Although they had focused on nabbing as many mobile phones as possible, the pair also admitted to stealing bags and wallets. According to the police, the pair had been conducting their robberies to help make ends meet.
AKBP Defretes concluded by saying, ‘These perpetrators are not working, but we are still investigating the case further’. During the arrest, the police recovered a black iPhone 13, though they believe that other stolen items have already been sold or pawned for cash.
In a more general update about the activities of Badung Police in recent weeks, AKBP Defretes confirmed that a total of 15 people had been arrested in connection with aggravated robberies. He stated that ‘in addition to snatching, we have also arrested other perpetrators, namely villa theft and motor vehicle theft’. However, he did not give further insights into these cases.
In early October, Badung Police arrested Wibi Aridiyo Samodro, 38, at his home in Padangsambian, West Denpasar, in connection with the theft of a moped in Canggu. The moped belonged to a Brazilian man living in Canggu who left the keys to the bike in the front pocket.
Samodro was arrested on Sunday, 9th October, following a report filed by a Brazilian moped owner. The bike had been parked in the courtyard of his rented villa. The police immediately launched an investigation and eventually traced the movements of the thief and motorbike to a house in Banjar Teges, Padang Sambian Village, West Denpasar District.
Speaking at the time, Head of Public Relations of Badung Police, Iptu Ketut Sudana, told reporters, ‘In addition to securing the stolen motorbike, the police also confiscated two cellphones belonging to the suspect. The evidence and the suspect were secured at the Badung Police. As a result of this incident, the victim suffered a loss of Rp. 26 million (USD 1,690). The suspect was charged with Article 363 of the Criminal Code concerning theft with a threat of 7 years in prison’.
Badung Police are cracking down on crime in the Kuta area and are being evermore public about their success in arresting criminals who target tourists. Badung Regency Police, in partnership with local Kuta Police and local traditional security teams, have been conducting additional patrols around Kuta, especially at times when crime has been noted to be more common.
As travelers, holidaymakers, and short-term international residents shift their focus away from classic Kuta towards trendy Canggu. Many cite that Kuta no longer feels as safe as it once did. Kuta has been notably quieter than usual following the peak season. Communities and police in Kuta are taking this seriously and have committed to stamping out crime on the streets of Bali.
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