GEORGE TOWN: Penang police gunned down three men suspected of breaking into small factories in a shootout at an industrial area in Bukit Mertajam this morning.
State police chief T Narenasagaran said the identities of the men, in their 20s and 30s, had yet to be ascertained and that the bodies had been sent to the Seberang Jaya Hospital for post-mortem.
At a press conference here today, Narenasagaran said policemen came across the burglars, who were in a Toyota Camry, during a patrol round at the Permatang Tinggi Industrial Area in Bukit Mertajam at 2am.
“Our team of 12 policemen was already in the area as we had received a tip-off that the bandits were about to act,” he said.
Narenasagaran said when policemen approached the Camry and ordered the occupants to pull over, the car sped off. He said police gave chase until the driver lost control and the car crashed into a ditch.
“They then got out of the car and started to shoot at the police, with one trying to attack a policeman with a parang. In self-defence, we had to shoot them,” he said.
Narenasagaran said police retrieved two spent bullet shells used to shoot at them. He said six rounds of .38 Colt ammunition was found on them.
He said the three men were suspected of committing 15 break-ins into factories in Bukit Mertajam, with losses close to RM620,000. He said the men were experts in prising open safes.
“We believe the gang had other members and we are on the lookout for them,” Narenasagaran said.