KUCHING: Police have crippled a motorcycle theft syndicate with the arrest of seven members of Jack Gang, including its leader.
District police chief ACP Ahsmon Bajah said the suspects aged between 22 and 35, were nabbed in five separate locations around Kuching during an operation codenamed ‘Ops Lejang’ from May 24 to June 29. They are believed to be involved in 23 cases around Kuching district since November last year.
Ahsmon said police have been tracing the syndicate’s activities since November last year and deployed a team to hunt down these slick and hardcore criminals.
The gang leader is a 29-year-old man who possessed 22 criminal records for various offences and is also a person under the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca) surveillance.
The other suspects also have between two to three criminal records relating to narcotic offences, property crimes, violent crimes, thefts and burglaries.
“The leader is detained under Poca since 2019 for his crimes in Miri and (his detention) is supposed to end this year, however with his arrest involving this syndicate, we will revise it and suggest that his detention be extended.
“According to the laws, a person detained under Poca can find a job and the police-in-charge will have to monitor his activities.
“This suspect found a job in a car wash shop and since his workplace is prohibited from operating during the movement control order (MCO), he took advantage of the situation to commit the crimes.
“We believe that he ran off to organise this criminal strategy after the police conducted routine inspections at his residence and work premises. He assumed that the police did not monitor but in fact, we did,” Ahsmon said in a press conference today (July 2).
He pointed out that the syndicate targeted motorcycles that are in demand such as the Kriss Modenas and Honda motorcycles.
“One of the gang members plays the role of a sentry where he will monitor and target locations for the thefts while, another will play the role of looking for buyers through their own website and social media platforms.
“The remaining gang members will steal the motorcycles, dismantle its components at a certain location and the other components will be destroyed.
“The syndicate will sell the dismantled components quickly to the buyers at low price ranging from RM30 to RM50.
“With the arrest of this gang, we believe that we are able to solve 23 motorcycle theft cases in Kuching with an estimated value of RM108,000.
“We categorised this gang as an inhumane gang for taking advantage of the MCO and stealing motorcycles belonging to the community who are using it to eke out a living,” he said.
The case is being investigated under Section 379A of the Penal Code for vehicle theft, Section 457 for burglaries and the Prevention of Crime Act 1959.
Ahsmon warned those under Poca surveillance in Kuching that they will not escape because the police have a lot of methods to make sure that they follow the laws properly.