MELAKA (Bernama): A goldsmith, who acted as the leader of a burglary gang suspected of being behind 30 home break-in cases involving losses amounting to RM900,000 in Melaka and Negeri Sembilan, was among eight men arrested in an operation involving separate raids here over the past few days.
State Deputy Criminal Investigations Department chief (intelligence/operations) Supt Yusharifuddin Mohd Yusop said the suspects, aged between 24 and 54, are believed to have been active since early this year.
He said the first raid took place at about 4.30pm on July 7 while the final raid was in Ayer Keroh Wednesday (July 10), adding that police believed there were more members of the gang still on the loose.
"The gang's modus operandi was to target wedding homes of Indian families where it is the norm to keep jewellery.
"The gang leader, who is a goldsmith, has the expertise to liquefy the stolen jewellery, before being redesigned and pawned or sold off,” he told reporters at the state police contingent headquarters here Thursday (July 11).
Yusharifuddin said based on investigations, the gang is believed to be behind 26 break-ins in Central Melaka, Alor Gajah and Jasin and another four cases in Tampin and Gemencheh.
He said among the items seized were three gold plated deities, jewellery confiscated from goldsmith shops and pawnshops, mobile phones, television sets, laptops, housebreaking tools, watches and gold melting tools.
"The group had pointers tasked with identifying target homes and determining the right time to break into them."All of them have been remanded for four days, which ends Friday (July 12) and the case is being investigated under Section 457 of the Penal Code, which provides for a sentence of up to five years and a fine upon conviction,” he said. - Bernama