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Kota Kinabalu break-in gang busted

KOTA KINABALU (ANN/THE STAR) – A burglary gang, identified as “Geng Lele,” responsible for a two-month crime spree causing losses exceeding MYR 330,000 in the city and nearby districts, has been apprehended, with three suspects in their 20s to 40s, including the gang leader, captured in Kota Kinabalu.

Kota Kinabalu OCPD Assistant Commissioner Zaidi Abdullah stated that the gang, active in September and October, had its leader and an accomplice still at large.

 “They would linger around higher-end housing areas in a rented vehicle before pretending to go up to a targeted house, knocking on the door or ringing the doorbell to check if anyone was home,” he told a press conference today.

If no one answered, they would proceed to break in, he added.

ACP Zaidi said in all the robberies attributed to the gang, the suspects only encountered one house owner who was still at home.

“However, the owner screamed for help and that prompted the suspects to flee the scene. They did not hurt anyone,” he said.

According to ACP Zaidi, the gang has been linked to 12 cases in the city, two in Penampang, and one each in Beaufort and Papar.

ACP Zaidi said the items taken were usually cash, jewellery, handphones and laptops as well as other items they could sell.

“From all these cases, the total losses amounted to around MYR336,000 including MYR40,000 cash. We managed to recover around MYR36,000 and the rented car thus far,” he added.

He said the suspects would sell what they could to pawnshops, a middleman, a regular buyer and unsuspecting individuals, among others.

Following the arrest of the three suspects, he said nine others including pawnshop operators, shop owners, suspected buyers and someone who kept the stolen items on their behalf were rounded up.

“The three initial suspects are under remand until tomorrow while the rest would be remanded soon,” he said.

It is learnt a composite image of the fourth member of the gang, a foreigner in his 20s known as Musa, is being drawn up.

ACP Zaidi also said the three suspected gang members tested positive for drugs.

The alleged gang leader, known as Salleh, has six previous convictions: three for drug-related offences, two for robbery and one for theft, he added.

PHOTO: ENVATO
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