KUCHING: A suspected car thief was arrested but his accomplice fled after police fired several shots at their getaway car at Chonglin Plaza in Jalan Green here.
One of the shots hit the front-right tyre of the car, forcing the two to abandon the vehicle at the entrance of the plaza at 2pm on Saturday.
Police caught the 39-year-old driver, but his accomplice dashed across the road and disappeared behind the shophouses.
The driver had, in his haste to escape, rammed the car into six other vehicles in the parking area, causing damage to all of them.
The getaway car was later confirmed to have been stolen at the new township of Batu Kawa three weeks ago.
State CID head SAC (II) Karn Kam Peng said police investigations revealed that the detained man was a member of a car-theft syndicate from Sibu and who was also involved in drug cases.
The syndicate was believed to
dispose of their stolen cars in the local market.
SAC Karn said police knew the identity of the man on the run and had launched a manhunt for him and other syndicate members.
He said police detained five men and recovered four lorries, believed stolen, near a logging camp in Lundu on Saturday.