House break-in suspect at it again hours after attending court for same offence

By Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin
Datuk Seri Mazlan showing some of seized tools used in the break-ins during a press conference at the Kuala Lumpur police contingent headquarters this afternoon, March 7, 2018. ― Picture by Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin

KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 — A seasoned criminal was arrested for house break-in hours after he had attended a court proceeding for a similar crime on Monday.

A police source told Malay Mail that the suspect while undergoing proceedings was still strapped with an electronic monitoring device to his ankle and was listed under the Prevention of Crime Act(POCA) for an offence in Sungkai, Perak.

“In the morning he attended court for a house break in case later that night he and three others were arrested for attempting to break into another house,” the source said.

The source revealed that his three accomplices were all trained in a specific task and each had roles as electricians or lock-pickers when carrying out the break-ins.

City police chief Commissioner Datuk Seri Mazlan Lazim said the suspect and his gang would normally target houses without closed circuit televisions(CCTV) installed or a security guard stationed and when there is no one home.

“They normally go after cash and jewellery when breaking-in, and we believe they were responsible for at least 35 cases in the Klang Valley,” he said during a press conference today.

Mazlan said police were alerted to the gang on Monday when residents in Taman Sri Rampai reported a suspicious white Proton Saga circling the area.

He said as officers approached the suspects, they backed into a patrol car and tried knocking over an officer on a motorcycle before fleeing.

He said police were forced to open fire and hit the rear wheel of the suspects’ car, who still sped off onto the Duta-Ulu Kelang Expressway(DUKE) towards the Middle Ring-Road 2(MRR2).

“They were driving against traffic and collided into at least three cars before crashing into a Proton Waja in Setiawangsa,” he said.  

Mazlan said police then moved in and arrested the suspects when they tried to flee on foot, as three people including a policemen suffered light injuries during the pursuit.

Checks on the car yielded two fake number plates among a catalogue of tools used to break into homes.

 All four suspects tested positive for methamphetamine.

He said checks revealed the gang leader had 23 previous criminal records, 15 for break-ins and several others for robbery and drug related offences, while two other accomplices also had previous criminal records.  

“The leader had formed this gang for only for a few weeks, but has headed many other similar groups carrying out break-ins in Wangsa Maju and Cheras over the past year,” he said.

Mazlan said police believed jewellery stolen from these houses were later sold on the black market in Pudu.

“We are trying to track down and identify the stolen items and those who purchased them,” he said.