Quick thinking by two men whose car tyre suddenly deflated as they drove from a bank with Rp300 million (US$33,000) foiled another apparent motorbike-bandit robbery.
Instead of stopping when the tyre went flat they drove straight to Bali Police Headquarters, surprising officers on duty at the gate as they sped through but earning praise later from Bali Police spokesman Gede Sugianyar for their action.
Sugianyar said the men had acted appropriately to avoid danger, but urged people drawing very large sums from banks to request a police escort.
“If you are in danger, you should go immediately to the nearest police station,” he said.
The men, named by police only as Heri and Alim, of Bedahulu, Denpasar, had withdrawn around Rp300 million from the Bank BNI and Mandiri branches on Jl Veteran about 11.30am on September 3 and were planning to deposit Rp100 million later that day at the BNI branch in Jl Gajah Mada, North Denpasar. The money was to buy a cow at Beringkit Market in Mengwi.
But around 3.15pm, as they were driving towards the crowded Jl Patimura junction, Alim, who was driving, heard a tyre blow out slowly.
“I heard the sound ‘cessss,’” he said. There was a motorcycle close by and I thought maybe they did it.”
Seconds later the car swerved because of the flat tyre but Alim decided not to stop and instead drove immediately to Polda headquarters.
“My hunch was that this is not good and I just stepped on the gas and went to Bali Police. I was afraid, because I often carry money for bank transfers,” he said.
Police officers guarding the entrance to the provincial headquarters got a shock when Alim’s Daihatsu Taft raced into the police yard, but quickly organised an escort to take the men home when they explained the circumstances.
Family members later visited the headquarters to check whether anyone had been robbed. “Why is money not safe?” asked one relative, a middle-aged man.
Police who inspected the car said it looked certain that there had been a robbery attempt because a nail had been pushed into the left-hand rear tyre.