KUCHING: A man was punished by the members of the public when he was caught snatching a woman’s handbag at a coffee shop in Jalan Song, here before trying to flee the area on a motorcycle this morning.
During the 9am incident, the victim was having breakfast at the coffee shop when the suspect came up to her and snatched her handbag that was placed on the chair beside her.
“The victim gave a chase and tried to pull her handbag from the suspect which caused her to fall on the ground,” said Kuching District police chief ACP Awang Din Awang Gani who confirmed the incident.
Awang Din added that the victim suffered light injuries to her hands and legs as a result of the fall,.
The suspect who then tried to flee the scene on a motorcycle collided with a car before falling to the ground and was apprehended by the members of the public.
Awang Din said the police, who arrived at the scene later, arrested the suspect who hails from Kampung Tabuan Ulu, here.
The suspect’s motorcycle was also seized by the police.
“A background search on the suspect also revealed that he have past criminal records for drugs and theft,” he said.
The police also managed to retrieve the victim’s handbag that contained her personal documents, a hand phone and cash.
Awang Din said the suspect is being investigated under Section 392 of the Penal Code for robbery. If convicted, the offender is can be punished with imprisonment for a term which may be extended to fourteen years, and shall also be liable to a fine or whipping.
Meanwhile, video clips of the incident were widely shared among WhatsApp groups and on social media.
In the video clip, a group of men was seen to be surrounding the suspect and pummeling him to force him to surrender.
A few minutes later, the suspect finally surrendered which saw his hands and feet being tied up with his own long sleeve shirt and belt.
“We praise the effort of the public in arresting the suspect in this case. However, the public should not go overboard when serving street justice,” said Awang Din.
He said a minimal force can be used to ensure that the suspect can be apprehended and arrested by the police for further action.