SNATCH theft in Bangsar continues to be a big worry for residents.
Brickfields OCPD Asst Comm Sharul Othman said statistics for this year until November had reached 18 cases. In 2014, there were a total of 19 cases over the whole year.
“Based on our data, many cases occurred during the day, with more incidents on Saturdays and Sundays.
“Seventeen of the cases this year took place between 8am and 6pm. Similarly, out of the 19 cases last year, 15 of them took place between noon and 6pm.
“There were four incidents last year that occurred between 6pm and midnight, and one case so far this year that happened during that period,” he said.
ACP Sharul said they were taking steps to tackle the problem, including increasing the number of uniformed policemen patrolling the area.
“In addition to plainclothes policemen, we also have a motorcycle patrol unit, mobile patrol vehicles and policemen patrolling on foot in the area.
“After every incident, we will look through all the closed-circuit television cameras in the location to identify the suspect through various aspects, such as their clothes, helmet, motorcycle and the plate number.
“We also keep an eye on all previous suspects who have been caught for snatch theft in the Brickfields area, as well as Kuala Lumpur,” he said.
Police data from 2014 showed that majority of the snatch thefts took place in Bangsar Baru.
The same data also revealed that the commercial “Telawi area” and its surrounding neighbourhoods were often the target.
Bangsar Baru Residents Association president Datuk George Joseph said residents had not heard of any snatch theft of late.
“The police will update us monthly on crime in Bangsar Baru and I have not received any statistics on snatch thefts in the last two months.
“Bangsar Baru residents are connected through a WhatsApp group that was created two years ago to keep all residents informed about the crime in the area.
“So, if any snatch theft took place involving the residents, we would have known. As far as the residents are concerned, the safety situation is good at the moment,” he added.
A boutique owner who only wanted to be known as Lee, whose shop is close to Jalan Telawi, said she had heard of many snatch thefts in the past and was always wary when she was outside her boutique.
“But it is not just in Bangsar where I am worried about snatch thefts. Everywhere I go, I take precautions, such as carrying my handbag on the inner side of the road as well as be aware of my surroundings and walk as quickly as I can to and from my car.
“I also take precaution against robbery. Often times, I am alone in my boutique, so I always keep the door locked until a customer shows up. I have practised this for a long time,” she added.
Yvonne Soo, who was visiting the area, said she also tried to be careful but sometimes the criminals would strike at the narrowest window of opportunity.
“A close friend of mine was a victim once. Her handbag was snatched when she was replying a text message on her phone.
“My advice is to minimise opportunities. Always be alert when you are in public places and do not use your phone while walking on the street as you can easily get distracted from your surrounding,” she said.