KOTA KINABALU August 25, 2012: Five ‘tourists’ were arrested recently after being found to be doing more than just sightseeing in Sabah.
The suspects, comprising three men and two women, aged between 34 and 54, were caught for alleged involvement in at least 14 house-breaking cases within the city area since they arrived here last month.
City Police chief ACP Jauteh Dikun yesterday said the suspects, comprising four West Malaysians and a Chinese national, were picked up at one of the hotels here after closely monitoring their activities.
“We raided two separate rooms and found most of the stolen goods, such as iPads, foreign currencies, handbags, beauty products, RM847 in cash, cellphones and housebreaking tools,” said Jauteh.
The suspects entered Sabah sometime in mid-July and went to ‘work’ after about a week, he said, adding that they had stolen some RM440,000 worth of property and in cash in nearly two months.
Jauteh said the gang rented a Proton Persona and would drive around the city area, focusing on apartment and condominium areas, such as Grace Garden, Kristal, Signal Hill, Noble Court and Millenium, to carry out their activities.
“The gang’s modus operandi involved selecting a target apartment or condominium, knocking on the doors to check whether the occupants were in or not. If the house owner answered, they would pretend to ask if their friend was living there.
“If no one answered, then they would take out their house break-in tools and escapes with valuables,” he said.
Jauteh said police also found maps in the room occupied by the gang, and believed that they were used to help them find their way around.
“We believe they were planning to expand their operation in Ranau and Kudat, as we found maps of both districts from them,” he said.
The suspects are currently remanded under Section 457 of the Penal Code for break-in.
by Sandra Sokial