Bali Police have announced the successful arrested of a thief who hopped the wall of a luxury holiday villa in Kuta and stole cosmetics and tech. Head of Public Relations of the Badung Police, Iptu Ketut Sudana, reported at a press conference this week that the robbery happened around 9 am on Friday 26th August.
Sudana told the press that North Kuta Police had arrested Rigel Dian Stirman, 23, at subsequently searched home on Jalan Gelogor Carik Gang Ratna Sari in Denpasar. Stirman has been arrested in connection to a break-in at Blossom Eco Luxe Villas, Jalan Pantai Batu Balong, in Canggu.
The police report was initially filed by Singaporean citizen Muhammad Fadhil Bin Mohamed Yusof, 30, who was staying at the villas. CCTV footage seen by police shows a woman of Stirman’s frame scaling the external wall of the villa and opening the front door. During this time, Yusof is thought to have been taking a shower.
Yusof reported to the villa manager, who then called the police. Sudana told reporters that Yusof reported costly losses from the incident. Sudana said, ‘The missing item was a blue cosmetic bag, which contained 1100 ml of [various] Hugo perfumes, one set of Mac brand cosmetics, and one beige Apple Watch. With this incident, the complainant suffered a loss of Rp. 14,800,000 (USD 996)’. Further CCTV footage from the Batu Bolong area in Canggu helped the police track Stirman down.
Stirman was arrested at around 3 am on Sunday, 28th August. The team tracked her down to Sand Bar on Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong in Canggu. Sudana confirmed the details of the arrest. ‘Initially, it was suspected that the perpetrator did not admit to having committed the theft until later, a search was carried out at the boarding house belonging to the alleged perpetrator and found that the victim’s belongings were in the boarding house of the alleged perpetrator. Then the [investigation] team took the perpetrator to the North Kuta Police for further questioning’.
The investigation is now underway, although police did not confirm whether charges have been issued. Given that the stolen items have all been tracked down, Yusof may have the option to proceed with a criminal case, drop any potential charges, or opt for restorative justice despite the stolen items being valued at over IDR 2.5 million.
In light of a recent increase in robberies against tourists in the Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, and Canggu areas, police partnered with the local community to increase patrols at peak hours. Though these new patrols are focused in central Kuta, and this robbery happened in Canggu, it is clear that authorities in Bali are taking these incidences seriously, acting proactively and working to ensure that tourists feel safe.
The Head of the Badung Police, AKBP Leo Dedy Defretes, told the media last week that the increased patrols and presence of security officials on the streets of Bali is a way to increase public trust and deter criminals.
He said, ‘The revival of tourism after being hit by the Covid-19 pandemic is overshadowed by the increasing street crime. In a time of [peak lockdown for] Covid-19, street crime is almost non-existent. When Bali reopened to tourists, the mobility of tourists in North Kuta increased sharply. Street crimes are starting to overshadow this situation’.
While most robberies have been conducted by serial thieves who operate as full-time criminals, snatching bags and mobile phones, others have turned to crime for the first time. Some robbery cases have been found to have been conducted by desperate individuals who are struggling to put food on the table after losing financial stability during the pandemic.
In the run-up to the main G20 Summit in November, police, the army, security services, and local community leaders ramped up security efforts across the island. There are dozens of preliminary conferences from mid-August through to the main summit that will be held in Nusa Dua on 15-16th November.