KUALA LUMPUR: A gang of 11 snatch thieves, dubbed Gang Mat Top, who have been active in the Klang Valley since 2016 has been busted, says Comm Datuk Seri Mazlan Lazim (pic).
The Kuala Lumpur police chief said a police task force tracked down the suspects and arrested the first one in front of a bank on Jalan Raja Chulan on Jan 28.
"His arrest led police to a house in Kampung Simpang 3, Gombak, where we arrested 10 other accomplices, including the gang's leader, known as Mat Top.
"We also seized cash, stolen loot and vehicles, including a luxury car and a superbike from the premises," he told a press conference on Saturday (Feb 16).
The gang’s modus operandi is to go out in groups of three, he added.
"All of them will be on motorcycles.
"One will snatch the victim's belongings, another will reconnoitre the location and the third man will be the lookout.
"In the event that a gang member is caught, the two others will act as innocent bystanders to convince the victim not to take action against the culprit" he said.
Among the vehicles seized from the gang were a Ducati Hypermortard 821 superbike and a Mercedes AMG.
"The gang leader also had RM217,000 in his bank account.
"He is using an ‘ikan patin’ business as cover for his real vocation, leading a gang of snatch thieves," Comm Mazlan said.
The gang is believed to be responsible for 45 snatch theft cases in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.
"This group is very organised and they even have a schedule of who to target and where.
"The gang members earn their keep through a split of the stolen loot," he said.
Police are now on the hunt for another suspect who has been fencing the stolen items on behalf of the gang, he added.
The suspects, aged from 21 to 35, have been remanded for further investigation.
"Some of them were handed over to the Ampang police as they have cases there as well.
"Some gang members have a past criminal record involving snatch thefts and drug-related offences," he said.
Comm Mazlan said city police will go all out to ensure that snatch thefts are curbed.
"Our taskforce has some 200 personnel working 24 hours a day.
"We want the people to feel safe in the city without worrying about being targeted by such criminals," he said.
He urged anyone with information to contact the KL police hotline at 03-2115 9999 or 03-2146 0522 or the nearest police station.