TAMPIN: A petite but plucky 18-year-old lass, fresh out of national service training, proved what it takes to catch a wily snatch thief.
In her case, the culprit turned out to be a 57-year-old grandfather of six, who had been grabbing women’s handbags for almost four decades.
Siti Norainan Abdul Aziz’s brave act on May 14 was duly recognised and commended by the police in a ceremony here yesterday. There was rousing applause when state police chief Senior Asst Comm (I) Datuk A. Majid Othman handed her a certificate of appreciation.
At about 4pm on that day, Siti Norainan, who had just completed her three-month NS stint at Kem Warisan, Masjid Tanah, in Malacca, followed her mother Asmah Ibrahim, 53, to town for shopping.
Her mother had withdrawn some cash from an ATM and was walking towards Siti Norainan when a man on motorcycle rode by them.
In a lightning move, he snatched Asmah’s handbag, containing the money, identification documents and other valuables, and sped off.
Asmah stood rooted where she was but Siti Norainan ran after the thief. Luck was on her side – the snatch thief was not too far away, sandwiched between two cars at the traffic lights at a junction in front of a shopping complex.
Siti Norainan grabbed the collar of the snatcher’s T-shirt and pulled him off his machine, whacking him with her sling bag.
In spite of the thief’s counter blows, her grip was firm. Alerted by her shouts, passers-by came to her help and overpowered the thief, who was later handed to the police.
OCPD Supt Zul Aznam Harun said investigations found that the man was a former prisoner with at least 26 previous convictions – all for theft – dating back to 1969.
When interviewed after the commendation ceremony yesterday, Siti Norainan said:
“I guess the national service stint made me a braver person. I didn’t want such merciless people who endanger the lives of innocent people to get away free.”
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