Miri car thieving gang arrested, stolen vehicles recovered

Hakim Hayat

Police in neighbouring Miri arrested five suspects from a gang believed to be behind 15 car theft cases, including six Brunei-registered vehicles, the Borneo Post reported yesterday.

The suspects, aged between 35 and 44, were arrested at several locations from February 19-21, and are believed to be members of a group known as ‘Gang Ah Ho,’ which has been active in auto thefts in the city as of late.

Miri’s District Police Chief ACP Lim Meng Seah said with the arrest of the suspects, including the gang leader, police believed they have solved 15 car theft cases reported in the division and recovered several stolen items.

Lim said acting on information and intelligence gathering, the Miri District Criminal Investigation Department (BSJD) arrested a local man believed to be the gang leader, who rode a car with fake registration number.

“Inspections on the car driven by the suspect found that it has been reported missing (on February 16) by an Australian working in Brunei.”

This led to the seizure of two other cars at two separate locations in this district suspected of being stolen, he informed the media in a press conference. Lim said the suspect, who had 10 previous criminal records, revealed that his other accomplices were also involved in several car theft cases in Brunei Darussalam and Miri.

“The police team later raided and arrested four more local men at four separate houses at Jalan Airport, Jalan Luak Bay, Jalan Pujut and Jalan Lutong-Kuala Baram.

“As a result of the arrests of four suspects, the team also seized four vehicles at four separate locations in the district,” said Lim.

Lim disclosed that the total seizures of seven vehicles amounted to an estimated value of about RM200,000. Lim said the suspects have looked out for vehicles, especially those from Brunei, that had been parked for quite some time, and conducted observations before proceeding with their operation.

“The suspects will break the rear passenger car window and turn off the alarm by using a special device purchased over the Internet. They would then drill the engine key part and turn the vehicle on with an alley key modified to be a car key,” Lim said.

In giving the breakdown of the 15 car theft cases allegedly committed by the suspects, Lim said the suspects were involved in six cases of car thefts of vehicles from Brunei and six vehicles from Bintulu and Selangau, besides an attempted car theft case, attempted robbery case and committing mischief.

“We are still investigating to find other gang members and vehicles that have not been found so far,” he added.