A British national has been arrested by police in Canggu, Bali, for stealing a custom-built motorbike. The man, known by his initials GTAW, is 43 years old and remains in police custody. The incident occurred at the Deus Ex Machina Indonesia store and cafe in Canggu on Monday, 28th November.
From CCTV footage shared with the police, GTAW can be seen ordering food at the cafe and wandering around the showroom event. He passes staff, causally smoking a cigarette and eyeing up the motorbikes when he sees an opportunity to steal the Yamaha Scorpio. The bike is parked at the front of the showroom, and the engine is idling as the owner, a member of the team, walks away for a moment. GTAW simply grabs it, wheels it out the front door, and disappears.
The situation was immediately reported to Badung Police, and the alert was raised on social media regarding the stolen motorbike. Deus Canggu Marketing Manager, Jehan Khaleda, told reporters that they believe GTAW could have been helped by three other people.
Putting two and two together when watching the CCTV footage, staff believe that GTAW was accompanied by three other men who arrived at the store on motorbikes. The footage shows GTAW entering the building with one of the men when he ordered from the menu, and the other two men stayed outside the front of the store.
GTAW was quickly tracked down and arrested by North Kuta Police. In a photo shared on the Deus Temple Instagram page, a group of staff from Deus Ex Machina Canggu can be seen surrounding GTAW, who is squatting on the ground. The stolen Yamaha Scorpio features in the photo and appears to have come through the crime unscathed.
The caption reads, “My stolen bike from @deustemple has been recovered and the thief apprehended. Massive thanks to the hard-working police, especially from here in North Kuta. @polsek_kuta_utara. But I’m sure their work was made easier by everyone sharing it across their social media. It is incredible to see all the communities of Bali come together to help catch this guy. I can not thank everyone enough”.
Little is known about GTAW, and police have not released any further information regarding the ongoing investigation. In the few photos circulated of GTAW, he doesn’t appear to be in the best of health. He appears vacant and potentially under the influence of substances.
Deus Ex Machina is one of the cornerstones of modern culture in Canggu. The brand, originally from Australia, has outlets across Asia, Africa, America, and Europe. According to their website, “Deus Ex Machina is a sum of parts, not just one idea, it’s more of a philosophy than a brand. Like a big ole cornucopia of fun embracing every flavor of enthusiasm”.
The Canggu store and cafe is a celebration of motorcycle and surf culture and regularly hosts some of the biggest events in the area. The menu is known for its great range of hearty meals to help refuel after a ride, whether that be on the open road or open sea.
While many of the comments on the Instagram post confirming the safe return of the motorbike are well-wishers, several people have pointed out that it’s something of an odd decision to try and steal a motorbike on an island. Especially in a community as close-knit as Canggu.
It’s not an unreasonable observation that it would be hard to make a quick getaway from Canggu at the best of times due to the unrelenting traffic the area has become all too familiar with. Canggu’s traffic hit the headlines again this week as more locals and tourists are taking matters into their own hands and creating new shortcuts through farmland to try and dodge the never-ending queues.
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