KOTA KINABALU: City police have busted a major burglary and car theft gang nicknamed Geng Kelvin and solved 19 cases of theft involving goods worth RM700,300.
Police arrested seven locals, including three women, all aged between 21 and 40, on July 4 and confiscated vehicles and electrical and electronic goods valued at RM200,000 in three raids around the city.
The suspects were picked up in two houses and a public area in Taman Nelly, Kolombong, Inanam, said Sabah Police Commissioner Ramli Din during a press conference here today.
“All of the men had prior criminal records and tested positive for syabu while one and two of the women tested positive for syabu and had previous criminal records.
“The women were the men’s girlfriends, who were all directly involved in and took part in committing the crimes.
“The women would often rent the vehicles used to carry out their criminal acts.”
Ramli said the gang stole house keys left in cars.
He said they also had special equipment and skills to make keys to enter houses or business premises without needing to cut padlocks.
“We believe the gang used false number plates and made fake road tax discs to use on vehicles they stole.”
Of the 19 cases solved with the arrests, 17 had occurred in Kota Kinabalu, one in Beaufort and another in Sandakan since February.
One of the vehicles, a Ford Ranger pickup, was allegedly stolen in Tawau and driven from Kota Kinabalu through Lawas in Sarawak to Long Bawan, Kalimantan, Indonesia, where it was sold.
The gang members have been remanded for a week to facilitate investigations.
Ramli said this was the third major criminal gang crippled by police with all three of them responsible for losses amounting to more than RM2 million.
“The city has the highest crime rate in Sabah but the number of burglary and car theft cases have gone down drastically with the arrest of members of these three gangs.”
Kota Kinabalu police chief ACP M Chandra was present during the press conference.