Police nab perpetrators
of taxi robberies

The Jakarta Police have arrested a gang of thieves allegedly involved in recent taxi robberies in the capital, which primarily targeted women.

Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said Friday that the police had arrested three perpetrators in different places. Robi Chaniago, 33, was apprehended in Jatiasih, Bekasi, on Tuesday, while his accomplices Harporson, 32, and Iwan, 32, were caught in Cipendawa, Bekasi and Tangerang, respectively.

Rikwanto said that police officers were forced to shoot at Robi and Harporson's legs as the two tried to avoid arrest.

Rikwanto said the group had allegedly robbed taxi passengers on at least 14 occasions around Greater Jakarta, including at Pondok Indah Mall, Mal Ambassador and BSD Mall in South Jakarta, and Tangerang, Bekasi and the Taman Mini Indonesia Indah area in East Jakarta.

According to Jakarta Police mobile detective chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Herry Heryawan, the perpetrators usually rented a taxi from its official driver. “They conducted the robberies as one team. One person would be the driver who found the victims, usually women, while the other two would get inside the car a short while later,” Herry said.

The three men then held each victim captive inside the car while they proceeded to steal the victims’ valuables. The group also stole victims’ ATM cards, forcing them to disclose the pin number, and then went to the nearest ATM.

The group would drop off their traumatized passengers in random places, warning them not to go to the police.

The police confiscated two Indah Family taxis -- a Primajasa taxi and a Toyota Avanza, as well as Rp 1.1 million (US$114) in cash.

Last month, two women, identified as MW and ES, were reportedly robbed in a Primajasa taxi as they stopped in front of Pondok Indah Mall one evening.

The men demanded that the women turn over their cellular phones, jewelry and ATM cards. The victims said the perpetrators had stolen Rp 13.7 million (US$1,428) in cash, two BlackBerry phones, a Nokia phone, a watch, a pair of earrings and a ring. (cor/nad)

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