Cops to use all resources to stop armed gangs


BY LOURDES CHARLES

KUALA LUMPUR: Police have declared the fight against gangs who use firearms to commit robberies their top priority and are committing all their resources, manpower and logistics to end their activities, CID Director Comm Datuk Salleh Mat Som announced yesterday. 

He said all state police chiefs and CID chiefs had been directed to “do everything and throw everything they have” at the gangs whom he described as “ruthless.”  

“Robbery by firearms is today the biggest problem and it is scaring a lot of people,” he said. 

“We will go all out and hunt them down even if it means we have to confront them face-to-face. We have 36 Rapid Response Teams who have been trained to face up to such robbers stationed throughout the country. 

“I want to assure the public and businessmen, especially goldsmiths, that we will be there for them and they can count on us,” he said after chairing a meeting of all CID chiefs and commercial crimes heads at a hotel here yesterday. 

In the latest incident on Tuesday, robbers sent everyone in the vicinity running for cover when they fired two M16 rifles to keep an armed security guard at bay during a heist at a goldsmith shop in Masai, Johor. 

Other incidents include the RM3.2mil robberies of the Tomei and OTY goldsmith shops at Mid Valley Megamall last year. 

On Sept 29, eight men clad in ski masks sent hundreds of shoppers and shopkeepers there scurrying for cover when they fired 19 shots from eight M16 rifles and six pistols. 

On Nov 22, robbers fired 22 shots at the Hong In goldsmith shop in Medan Batu Caves in Gombak, Selangor before fleeing with RM1.2mil in jewellery. 

Comm Salleh also appealed to the public and the business community to co-operate by immediately contacting the police if they were about to be robbed or were being robbed or knew of such plans to do so. 

“They should not wait for hours before calling the police as this would only give the robbers more time to escape or change vehicles or the number plates of their getaway cars,” he added. 

Comm Salleh said other high priority targets for the police force this year included reducing cargo hijackings and car thefts. 

He said further reducing the crime rate was the force’s priority, as it would help strengthen the Government’s resolve in attracting foreign investments. 

Comm Salleh also said that he had directed his officers to pay more attention and priority to solving commercial crimes cases. 

He said he expected the solving rate for such cases to shoot up, as the numbers of cases reported seem to be on the rise recently.  

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