A military officer was arrested on Friday after he and two civilians allegedly held up a grocery store with a rifle and two pistols in Kandal province late last month.
The arrest comes amid a rash of armed robberies nationwide, a trend that has brought increased pressure on police from high-ranking government officials to do more to combat violent crime.
According to police, First Lieutenant Mean Vesna, 26, was arrested on Friday on accusations of armed robbery, while his alleged accomplices, Try Sokhim, 16, and Seng Da, 23, were arrested early last week.
The trio allegedly stormed a grocery store in Kandal province’s Ponhea Leu district on January 31. The victim, Pring Sem, told Ponhea Leu district police that three masked assailants rushed into her house at 7:30pm, when she was closing her grocery store.
Sem said the armed robbers pointed their weapons at her family members, while one threatened to kill her daughter if she did not hand over money.
The thieves fled with almost $10,000 worth of cash and jewellery.
So Rany, commander of the Kampong Speu Provincial Regional Operational Base, where First Lieutenant Mean was purportedly stationed, said he was on leave and was not aware of the incident.
Eav Chamroeun, Kandal provincial police chief, yesterday confirmed the military official was one of the three suspects currently being detained in relation to the hold-up.