THIEVES have been preying on residents of Pujut Garden in Miri, rendering the occupants of 34 households in the housing estate in fear day and night.
Located within walking distance from the town’s main bus terminal, a primary school and a petrol station, this small housing estate situated along a busy by-pass road to Miri General Hospital has been a target of burglars and muggers.
It is also located near a hypermall via a short cut.
According to residents, cases of house-breaking have been worrying of late.
Alarms have been installed in several houses but these do not seem to be of much help.
Daily, every household is in risk of being broken in broad daylight.
A homemaker, who wished to be identified only as Piong, said that most of the cases occurred during the day.
She said she once woke up to see a man standing in front of her neighbour’s house behaving as if he was repairing the gate.
“It did not strike my mind that he could be a thief. It was 6am and he did not behave suspiciously. He acted like a house occupant. I came to know he was a thief only when the house owner informed me later,” she added.
Piong said her house had also been broken into.
“It occurred at about 6am when we had left for work and the children for school. I could not believe it when my son called to inform me that our house was broken into,” she added.
Another resident, Liew Siew Ying, said she had been a victim twice.
She said, according to her neighbour who had a close encounter with the thieves, they behaved as if they were the house occupants.
The thieves knew the area well and were experts in breaking door and gate locks, she added.
Liew said the thieves even entered the houses through the roof, adding that they sometimes crawled on roof tops before gaining entry.
Jenny Bong, a homemaker, said she once had a very scary experience at night.
“I was fast asleep at around midnight when I was awoken by a noise from the roof. At first, I thought the noise was from the monkeys in the jungle behind our housing area.
“But when I peeped outside, I was shocked to see a huge man’s shadow on the rooftop. I almost screamed, but I was afraid that the person might forced his way into my house and hurt me. Hence, I stayed calm.”
Bong said, due to the location of the housing estate, many people including the suspicious ones could be seen walking past during the day.
“It is difficult to say whether they are just passers-by or burglars,” she added.
Dee Chee Huat, also a resident, said the jungle behind the housing estate could be a factor that made it an easy target for burglars.
“The bushes are good for muggers to hide and monitor the situation until the right time to strike their victims,” he said.
He appealed to the state to look into their plight and find ways to resolve the problem.
“I had an encounter with a mugger hiding in the bushes. The dangerous hours are between 6pm and late at night.
Bong appealed to the authorities to resolve the problem and end the peoples’ nightmare.
“Between April and July alone, at least 10 people were mugged and four laptops stolen along the road close to the jungle,” she said.
“What is the point of reporting when nothing is done. There is only a low possibility of the loot being found,” said a resident who wanted to be known only as Ah Teck.
Meanwhile, Pujut assemblyman Andy Chia, when informed of the residents’ plight, said that immediate action would be taken to help the residents.
He said the police would carry out close surveillance on the housing estate and its surrounding areas.
On the jungle, he said, since it was state land, the council would clear it as soon as possible.
Pujut Garden is more than 10 years old.