YAN: Police have smashed the Gang Subuh syndicate comprising four men and two women who broke into cars at mosques when people were performing dawn prayers.
Yan OCPD Deputy Supt Muhamad Halim Yatim said the gang members, aged between 19 and 41 and all from Sungai Petani, had been active for several months.
They would strike between 5.30am and 6.30am, smashing the side windows of the cars before fleeing with valuables inside the vehicles.
Police had set up a task force to look into the thefts.
Three of the gang members, including a 33-year-old drug addict believed to be the mastermind, were nabbed at a rented house in Jalan Kuala Ketil, Sungai Petani, at about 11pm on March 11.
"About 30 minutes after the arrest, police managed to catch the other three suspects when they came to the house," DSP Halim told a press conference Monday.
He said the gang members moved in a group, surveying their targets at mosques.
"They would pretend to go into the mosque to pray but they were actually watching the movements of their targeted victims," he said.
DSP Halim said in one of the police reports, a 62-year-old retired teacher said he lost RM3,000 in valuables to the gang members on March 11.