A gardener, Yusuf, is alleged to have murdered his roommate, Herman, at their shack in Sukaresmi village in Bogor regency, after Herman accused him of stealing Rp 50,000 (US$5.40).
Ciomas Police precinct head Adj. Comr. Suryo Purnomo said Yusuf lived in the same shack with Herman and both worked as gardeners for a resident of Kedunghalang district, Darmadji.
The incident began at dawn Thursday. Herman insisted Yusuf had taken his money, which Yusuf denied.
Herman then took money from Yusuf's pocket while he was sleeping. Yusuf, however, woke up and became enraged. In the ensuing brawl, Yusuf took a knife and allegedly stabbed Herman several times in the head and neck.
"Based on local residents' reports, we were able to arrest the suspect (Yusuf) within three hours. We are still questioning him at Ciomas Police precinct," Suryo said.
One resident, Asep, said he heard loud noises coming from the shack, located in the middle of the garden where the two worked. Neighbors crowded around the building, but the victim had already died.
"I immediately reported the incident to the police with several other residents," he said.
Criminologist Erlangga Masdiana of the University of Indonesia said murder cases triggered by small conflicts were common.
Small conflicts, he said, are among the most common underlying reason for murder.
There was probably a protracted, unpleasant relationship and mistrust between the two gardeners, which triggered one of them to kill the other, Erlangga said.
"Both men may have been in disturbed social relationships previously, which allowed the murderer to justify his action," he said.