We’re Looking For the Home Invaders, Says Police Chief
Fresh from his shoot-on-sight order earlier in response to Bali’s growing crime wave, Police chief Hadiatmoko was keeping his own counsel later, saying only that police were following up leads on the rash of robberies and the killing of the Indonesian wife of a retired British pilot at their Kerobokan Kelod house in late January.
Hadiatmoko said all elements of the Bali Police were working to curb the crime wave.
The series of violent home invasion-style robberies in Badung has shocked the local community, especially since the robbers are now arming themselves with pistols as well as their traditional knives, swords or clubs.
The crime wave has stretched out to include petrol stations, with a high-profile gang-style raid on one at Mengwi recently.
Numbers of people involved in break-ins also seems to be increasing. The Mengwi petrol station robbery was the work of a four-man gang.
None of the recent crimes have been solved.
The robbery at a villa at Banjar Tiying Tutul, Pererenan, on January 25 featured a violent assault on the Australian woman occupant of the house. She lost property valued at Rp180 million (US$19,800).
But the robbers aren’t having it all their own way. American Philip Ekoto Mimbimi, 35, fought back when two robbers armed with knives bailed him up in his house on January 29 and they fled with only a mobile phone.
Mimbimi was admitted to hospital after the assault with slashes on his arms and a head injury. But he told a local electronic newsletter later:
“I was lying on my couch watching a video in the living room at about 3am when a masked man came from behind the couch and appeared in front of me. He was waving a rather large knife in my direction and making a shushing noise with a finger to his mouth.
“I was bit dazed but I instantly jumped to my feet.” A second hooded man appeared holding a large stick. “It may have been because I was pumped up from just watching an action movie or something, but I jumped between the two men and grabbed a baton on the other side of the room.”
Police are also probing a robbery at a house in Banjar Panglan at Kapal near Mengwi on Monday, in which two masked robbers armed with knives stole property from two Balinese men living there. One of the men was slightly injured in the incident.
In response to this and a string of other home invasions upon expats recently, the police have issued a “shoot on site” directive for thieves targeting foreigners.
“The police have to act firmly, and, if necessary, shoot on sight if perpetrators try to escape arrest,” Hadiatmoko said.
He also stated that Bali’s image as a safe tourist destination was at risk.Filed under: Headlines