A 49-year-old man from South Denpasar was arrested on the 1st June 2022 for multiple burglaries in Bali. Gede Suparma is no stranger to Denpasar police having already completed a stint in Tabanan Prison for burglary in 2019. South Denpasar Police apprehended Suparam at his storehouse in Sidakarya, local reports suggest that the resisted arrest so violently that police had to shoot him in the leg.
At a press conference confirming his arrest, Suparam could be seen hobbling on one leg. His left calf was tightly bandaged and he appeared in pain. The police confirmed that he is a professional thief who has not been cooperative with the police since his arrest. He has been arrested for four villa robberies, two in the Badung area and two in Tabanan.
During the exploration of Suparam’s storehouse police found tens of thousands of dollars worth of tech stashed away. From cameras to drones, from lenses to accessories. Suparam has also stashed tens of thousands of dollars worth of jewellery. According to police what was uncovered at his store was just a fraction of what he has stolen and that they suspect he had already sold many of the high value pieces.
Police reported that Surparam lives in Tabanan and had been using the storehouse in Sidakarya to keep the stolen items away from suspicious onlookers in his community. Surparam’s wife has also been called in for questioning and has been cooperating with police. She has not yet been arrested but appears to have confessed her involvement during her police interview. Teams have now opened a new investigation focusing on his wife’s role in the operation.
Badung Police Chief AKBP Leo Dedy Defretes reported that Surparam’s wife’s job was to stand on the street and conduct surveillance as her husband raided properties. Surparam’s arrest came after villa owner Luh Putu Gika Winda approached the police to say that his villa in Pereranan Village, close to Canggu in Mengwi, was raided on the night of 25th May.
Winda’s villa was accessed by a burglar who pryed open the windows and doors. The house was empty at the time. The police are still investigating the other three robberies. The villa in Tanah Lot, Tabanan was being occupied by family from Spain.
It is thought that Suparam targets villas with foreign residents, or visitors and high end villas that were luxurious and standing empty. Though the police suspect that Suparam was responsible for all four robberies and was only working with his wife, they are not ruling out involvement from other people.
Between April and May 2022 the local people recorded five serious burglary cases in the area. They have successfully arrested three thieves who are currently being held in custody. Police have urged the public, especially foreigners, who have lost items or suspect they have been victim of theft to file a report with the Badung or South Denpasar Police.
The Chief of Badung Police spoke at the press conference and made special reference to the North Kuta and Mengwi areas. Travellers to Bali and long term foreign residents are especially reminded to store their tech valuables away in a safe where possible, and to not leave their items unattended in public.
As Bali reopens to the world there may be an increase in opportunistic theft. While there are criminal gangs and scam artists that operate across Bali, the local police are proactive in bringing these people to justice. Travelers are reminded that although Bali is an open, friendly and largely safe place, that there are ways to help safeguard against theft.
There have also been reports of airport thieves operating at Bali’s Nguarh Airport in recent weeks. A man known to the police as a bag snatcher from West Java was arrested for snatching the bag of a Russian tourists who was waiting for his flight.
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