A carefully planned robbery attempt on a computer store in Negara in the early hours of February 11 was thwarted by a watchful security guard, with one of the three would-be robbers shot in the thigh by police during the subsequent pursuit.
Ketut Tulis, owner of the shop on Jl Danau Buyan, told reporters that he had first spotted a metallic blue Kijang car outside the store the previous day.
“One of the passengers came into the shop to ask if we could fix his laptop. I said we could, but because he hadn’t brought the laptop with him, I told him I would need to see it first to be sure. I was suspicious because of his behaviour,” Tulis said.
At 10.30pm that evening a security guard, Fatahila, spotted the same car parked outside the shop and noted its number plate. At around 3am Fatahila, who was inside his security post at the time, heard the car move close to the front of the computer store.
“I heard a sound like someone opening a gate, and when I peered out I saw that they’d got the gate open and had backed the car right up to the front of the shop,” Fatahila said, adding that there appeared to be three robbers.
“One of them had climbed up on top of the car to try and get into the shop, one of them was trying to force open the rolling door and the other was waiting inside the car,” he said.
Fatahila told reporters that he had been too scared to confront the men alone, but he was determined to raise the alarm.
“When they were off guard I came out and ran off screaming ‘thief, thief, thief!’” he said.
Fatahila’s cries roused owner Ketut Tulis, who lives above the shop.
“My wife was feeding our baby at the time, and I came straight downstairs while she called the police,” Tulis said.
Realising they had been spotted, the robbers fled the scene.
Police organised roadblocks around Negara. “I immediately asked all the ranks to look out for a Kijang with the number plate B875ZF and told them to close all the roads into and out of the city,” said Ketut Suparta of Jembrana Police, who received the initial report of the robbery attempt.
The three suspects attempted to flee towards the ferry port at Gilimanuk, but turned back towards Negara after running into a police checkpoint at Cekik. Their car was eventually stopped by officers on Jl Udayana. One of the suspects, 42-year-old Ngajono from Pati, Central Java, attempted to flee the scene on foot and was shot in the left thigh by police. The other two men, Asral, 46, and Suhadi, 37, did not resist arrest. All three were originally from towns on the north coast of Central Java, police said.
“At the time of the attempted action Asral was acting as the driver; it was Suhadi who had climbed up on top of the car, and Ngajono, was trying to prise open the rolling door,” said Ketut Suparta, adding that police had confiscated the car, several mobile phones and various tools from the men as evidence.
“We have a strong suspicion that they may also be car thieves,” he said. All three men face a possible seven years in jail under Articles 363 and 53 of the Criminal Code.
Elsewhere the same night, another group of thieves made a more successful attempt on another electronics store.
Staff of the shop in the busy Pasar Mumbul district of Singaraja arrived on Friday morning to find that the security doors had been forced open. A total of 25 laptop computers, eight BlackBerry phones and Rp20 million (US$2,240) in cash had been taken during the robbery.
Nyoman Sukasena of Buleleng Police said that the robbery had probably been carried out by more than one person, and that, as with the Negara incident, a car was probably used for the getaway. He appealed for witnesses from among local traders.