PETALING JAYA: A 33-year-old man who had been in and out of prison since 1992 for various criminal offences was nabbed this time for impersonating a senior police officer and cheating taxi drivers of their cash and belongings.
Petaling Jaya Selatan district police chief Asst Comm Osman Bakar said the man pretending to be an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP Suresh) from Bukit Aman would get into a taxi, and on the pretext of being on a special operation, instruct the driver to go on “patrol” with him.
ACP Osman said several minutes later, the plain-clothed “ASP” would pretend to receive a call from the federal police headquarters on his cellular phone and inform the taxi driver that he needed to get to a certain hotel.
“Before reaching the hotel, he would ask the driver to lend him cash as he had only foreign currencies and would borrow the driver's handphone as his handphone battery is dead. However, once the “ASP” got out of the vehicle, he would disappear,” he said.
ACP Osman said the victims, believing he was a genuine officer and feeling proud to assist the police, would hand over their cash and handphones.
He said a taxi driver was cheated of more than RM1,300 in Bangsar on Feb 18.
“Due to his success rate, the repeat offender from Ipoh could afford to stay in hotels in the district, city centre, Ipoh and Seremban using the victims' cash and money from the sale of the phones,” he added.
However, on March 3 at 11pm, the “ASP” was arrested at a budget hotel in Sunway, following a police report by a taxi driver who was cheated in the PJS area earlier that night.
He said the repeat offender had been involved in at least 20 cases in the Klang Valley and is believed to have committed similar offences in Ipoh, Nilai, Seremban and Johor Baru.
ACP Osman urged those who had fallen victim to come forward to assist the police.