Iranian tourist nabs snatch thief linked to other thefts

KUALA LUMPUR: The quick action of an Iranian in apprehending the man who snatched his wife’s handbag in front of a luxury hotel on Jalan Conlay here yesterday has helped the police solve several previous snatch thefts involving foreign tourists.

In the 12.40am incident, the suspect failed to escape when he fell from the motorcycle he was riding after grabbing the 43-year-old woman’s handbag.

Her husband accosted the 23-year-old suspect, with help from several security guards and hotel workers. The man was then handed over to the police, Dang Wangi police chief ACP Shaharuddin Abdullah told a press conference here yesterday.

He said the suspect had admitted to being linked to seven other snatch thefts at several locations in the capital and Ampang, Selangor, over the last two years.

Shaharuddin said the suspect’s modus operandi was to move alone on a motorcycle in public areas and target foreign tourists, especially those who were alone.

“The suspect would take all valuable items before throwing the victims’ handbags into rivers or big drains in Kuala Lumpur,” he said, adding that the man had been remanded for six days, beginning yesterday, to facilitate investigations.

In a separate case, the police are tracking down a motorcyclist who allegedly snatched gold chains from women in the capital.

Shaharuddin said the 26-year-old man whose last known address was in Taman Taming Impian, Kajang, had been arrested a total of 14 times.

“The suspect who rides a motorcycle targets a potential victim, especially women wearing gold chains, before snatching the chain and fleeing.”

Those with information on the suspect are urged to contact Dang Wangi CID chief DSP M Gunalan at 019-311 4418.