Police in Bali have successfully arrested and charged a serial thief after a two-week search. Badung Police arrested Wibi Aridiyo Samodro, 38, at his home in Padangsambian, West Denpasar. He was arrested for stealing a moped belonging to a Brazilian man living in Canggu.
Police arrested Samodro on Sunday, 9th October, following a report filed by Brazilian citizen Lin Gonzaga Petersen, 29. Petersen currently lives close to Pererenan Beach in Canggu and reported his Yamaha N-Max DK 4972 motorcycle stolen on the 29th of September.
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.
The Head of Public Relations of Badung Police, Iptu Ketut Sudana, confirmed the arrest and the events of the robbery to the press on Tuesday 11th October. Sudana said, ‘When ambushed by the police, the suspect cooperated and admitted his actions according to the victim’s report. The victim’s motorbike was easily stolen because the ignition key was stored on the dashboard. At that time [police] immediately secured evidence of the victim’s motorbike’.
Samodro still had the motorbike in his possession at the time of his arrest. He was taken to Badung Police HQ for further questioning and later charged with theft. Badung Police also connected him to the theft of another motorcycle.
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’.
Sudana did not confirm a date for Samodro’s trial nor whether the motorbike has been returned to Petersen in a decent condition. Sudana did not share details about Samodro’s previous arrest, but it does not stand him in good favor as he heads into a trial, unless he chooses to formally plead guilty to the charges.
Motorbike theft in Bali is surprisingly common, although police do all they can to ensure that the island remains safe. Anyone renting a motorbike in Bali is reminded to double-check the basic precautions when it comes to safety and security.
In the instance of Petersen, the keys to the ignition were left in the front pocket of the bike. Where possible, mopeds should be parked overnight behind gates or in areas with security guards or CCTV. Even if the moped is being parked for a couple of minutes, remove the keys and park the moped in a designated space.
Travelers are reminded never to leave their keys for rented mopeds unattended. Many incidents of motorbike theft are opportunistic rather than calculated. If a tourist has a rented motorcycle stolen and police cannot find the culprit, there is a risk that the traveler may be liable for some of the costs incurred by the motorcycle owner.
Another semi-regular incidence of theft that the police are working to stamp out is phone theft. In the last year, there have been dozens of reports of thieves snatching phones from foreigners who are driving or riding as passengers on mopeds.
Travelers are reminded to keep their valuables hidden when driving and to avoid wearing cross-body bags that can be easily slashed by criminals who drive up being the victim and catch them unawares. Any incidences of crime can be reported to the local tourist police, and often hotel or rental accommodation staff can help travelers get the support they need to report a crime.
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Thursday 13th of October 2022
MY SON HAD HIS 2 GOLD CHAINS RIPPED OFF HIS NECK ON THE DAY OF 03/10/2022. HE WAS TRYING TO FIX HIS RENTED BIKE WHICH HAD BROKEN DOWN NOT LONG AFTER HE HAD RENTED IT. IN THE POURING RAIN A GUY ON A BIKE CAME UP BESIDE HIM PRETENDING TO HELP BUT AS MY DECLINED AND BENT DOWN TO TRY AND FIX THE BIKE THAT'S WHEN THE GUY STOLE MY SON'S CHAINS. ONE OUGHT TO ALWAYS CONCEAL ANYTHING VALUABLE.