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‘Gun’-toting thieves caught mid-robbery

Four robbers’ efforts to steal from a couple in Kampong Cham province went spectacularly wrong on Friday when one of them fired his fake gun – in the process, revealing it was only a toy – and another was bitten by a snake after fleeing into the forest.

Chim Senghong, deputy police chief in Kang Meas district, said the four men had tried to rob a couple, aged 61 and 58, while they ate dinner at their kitchen table.

Rather than maintain the illusion that the firearm they waved around was the real thing, one of the robbers instead fired a shot, giving the secret away that it was merely a cap gun, he said.

The thieves’ predicament only got worse from there.

After they tied up the husband, he informed them it was the wife who held the keys to the home’s various cupboards where valuables were kept.

While the robbers contemplated that, the husband managed to free himself, run outside and call for help.

Within moments, angry villagers and police materialised, sending the men fleeing into the nearby forest, where they spent a sleepless night that ended with one of them being bitten by a snake.

The snakebite victim, Nuon Tengly, 29, from Kampong Cham province’s Prey Chhor district, and Mot Ratha, 28, Phnom Penh’s Boeung Keng Kang III commune, were arrested, Senghong said, while the other two escaped.

“A judge will investigate and charge them,” he said.

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