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Bali Tourists Saved From Thieves As Locals Start Recording Attempted Phone Robbery

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Two tourists were saved by locals during an attempted phone robbery on Jalan Poppies in Kuta over the weekend. The video, which has since been shared on local Instagram news accounts, last 53-seconds. Locals who were in the area at the time started recording the commotion.

It is thought that although the two men who were being mugged had the situation under control that the criminals were stopped firmly in their tracks when they realized that they were being recorded. 

In the video, the local man recording the scene can be heard saying ‘hey bro, give back the phone bro’. The scene is played out on the sidewalk of Jalan Poppies in central Kuta. The two tourists, who can be heard speaking with Australian accents were walking down the road during a night out.

The unnamed man whose phone was nearly stolen can be heard swearing as he vents his frustration to the crowd. ‘Been coming to Bali for 30 years…first time back since Covid and he tried to steal my phone’. The pair continue walking down the road after the incident, while the thieves appears to hide their faces. One of the group stands in an alleyway and doesn’t make any attempt to flee the scene. 

Warning: The Following Video Contains Explicit Language

In light of the video gathering plenty of attention online, the Kuta Traditional Village teams have increased patrols in the area. The surveillance teams will be focusing their operations on areas where thieves are known to be operating, including along Jalan Poppies and Kuta Beach Road.

According to local reports, the Pecalang and Penrepti [village security], as well as Kuta Bersatu Forum, will be patrolling. The increased patrol efforts are being led directly by Kuta Traditional Village leader Wayan Wasista. 

Speaking to local reports Wasista said ‘Regarding the viral video of the attempt to [mug] tourists, we in the traditional village felt [attacked]. So we tried to help the police, in this case, we did night patrols…We have decided that from, Sunday, we will conduct combined patrols in each of the [areas] and we are on standby in the regions that are considered vulnerable [to criminal activity]’.

Wasista continued to say that he hoped that the police and local security teams would be able to work together to make sure that Kuta was free from criminal activities. 

The new patrols have a dual purpose. While patrolling the streets and keeping a close eye on any suspicious activity, the patrols have also been checking in on money changers that have recently been closed down in the area. It is hoped that the increased patrols will deter criminals from operating in the area and make sure that Kuta is safer for tourists and locals alike. 

The local pecalang have been keeping a close eye on the money-changing outlets as there has been speculation that the stores have been operating despite being formally closed down by Saptol PP, the Bali Civil Service. Throughout June and July, the authorities in Bali closed a series of money-changing outlets in the Kuta area after they were found to be operating without the correct licenses and business permits. 

During the patrol on Sunday night, the teams found that there were two money changers that had reopened despite their formal closure. The orange sealed stickers and closure letters stuck to the doors had been removed and the changers were operating as if nothing had happened. 

Wasista said ‘we did a follow-up investigation and the information from the field was that some were opened again and even the seals were removed. This really hit us in the traditional village so we did this follow-up investigation’. When the money changers were closed down in July, Wasista said that he would not hesitate to take legal action against businesses operating in Kuta Traditional Village that were operating outside of the law. 

Wasista confirmed that lawyers have been informed and that the process of taking legal action against the money-changing outlets has begun.

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Thursday 1st of June 2023

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