KUALA LUMPUR: A woman who disguised herself as a beggar and masterminded a robbery of a priest was found to be the ringleader of a gang preying on public sympathy.
The woman and her two male accomplices, aged 16 and 35, were caught a day after they robbed and assaulted the priest.
Sentul OCPD Asst Comm Beh Eng Lai said the 27-year-old woman, went to the Sri Maha Karumariamman Temple located on Jalan Segambut at about 10pm on Saturday “seeking help”.
When the priest opened the door, the woman’s accomplices assaulted him with a stick and hit him on the head. They relieved the priest of his gold ring, passport, RM500 and two mobile phones before they fled, he said in a statement.
In a follow-up operation after the priest, an Indian national, reported the incident, the three suspects were tracked to a house in Sentul. They were arrested at 11pm on Sunday.
Police retrieved one of the stolen mobile phones, recovered RM100, believed to be part of the loot and the clothes worn during the robbery.Initial investigation revealed the woman has a criminal record for theft. Her accomplice, the 35-year-old man who has several tattoos, has 10 offences on record and is a member of a secret society. The suspect is also wanted for drug activities. The other suspect is a school dropout.
Police revealed the three suspects were friends before they got together to form a gang.
ACP Beh said the suspects only confessed to robbing the priest, but the police are investigating if the trio were involved in other similar cases.
“All three suspects have been remanded for five days. We advise the public to be extra cautious when approached by beggars,” he said, urging anyone with information to contact the Sentul police headquarters at 03-4048 2222.