Police Bust ‘Shoelace Bandits,’ Kill Mastermind of Jakarta Minimart Robberies
A South Jakarta
Police team on Thursday shot dead the suspected mastermind of a series of minimarket
robberies as he tried to escape arrest, Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr.
Rikwanto identified the suspected mastermind of
the robberies, including one on an Alfamart outlet in Bangka Raya in the
Mampang area of South Jakarta on Tuesday, by his initials, MHD.
“During the raid on his home, MHD attempted to
flee through the roof. Our personnel went into pursuit and shot him after
warning shots were ignored. He died a short while after,” Rikwanto said, adding
that the incident took place in the early hours of Thursday.
He did not say where MHD’s house was located.
Rikwanto said that within 30 hours of the Bangka
Raya Alfamart robbery, police had managed to follow a lead and arrest a
suspect, identified as KM, 31, in Bekasi’s Bintara Jaya.
“From KM, three machetes were seized as well as
one plastic package of putau and insulin. He is suspected of consuming drugs,”
Rikwanto said. Putau is the local term for uncut heroin.
It was from KM that police learned that the robbery
and several others before that had been coordinated by MHD, 41.
After the raid on MHD’s house, police then moved
against another suspect, WS, 26, who lived not far from MHD.
“It is not more than 50 meters away and a raid was
conducted on WS’s house. Based on WS’s information, three more people are
wanted and our personnel in the field are still hunting them down,” Rikwanto
Meanwhile, South Jakarta Police chief Sr. Comr.
Imam Sugianto said the group had committed at least 38 robberies in the Greater
Jakarta area and Karawang this year.
“This group has conducted robberies 38 times in
different locations in the Greater Jakarta area, in Karanwang and in Cikampek
and other sites since January 2012. The result of their crimes [in terms of money stolen] comes to some Rp
800 million [$86,000],” he said.
Imam said the group tended to target minimarts because they remained open around the clock and tended to be deserted late in
the evening. The robberies were always planned at MHD’s home, headded.
“They target minimarkets because they remain open
for 24 hours. In the early hours, when the situation is quiet and deserted with
no buyers, they will conduct their action. All planning was done by MHD. He is
the mastermind,” Imam said. He said MHD was the one determining who did
what during the hold ups.
The group was particularly known for using shoelaces to tie up their victims.
“They are the shoelace group, who tie their victims with shoelaces. They leave together from MHD’s house and return together. They
also go around looking for sites they may rob,” Imam said.
From the Alfamart robbery in Bangka Raya, the
group made off with Rp 45 million, he said.
Those arrested could face up to 9 years in jail
for robbery using violence or the threat of violence.