During the third quarter of 1993, 116 cases of robbery were reported by the robery
combatting unit of the Phnom Penh Criminal Police Office. The thefts of 14 cars and
86 motorbikes resulted in 13 deaths and 12 injuries.
Of the 116 cases 94 were attempted thefts of motorbikes, 12 of cars and 10 aimed
at people's homes. While conducting these activities, the robbers succeeded in stealing
only 80 motorbikes, but were completely successful with cars and homes. Fortunately,
the last two incidents claimed no lives and only one victim was wounded.
Along with the above mentioned vehicles, the bandits also stole 512 chis of gold
[1 chi=3.75g], U.S. $13,772, Khmer R 1.6 million, Thai B 38,000, 2 TVs and 2 video
Even though some robberies were reported to be brutal, the Robbery Combatting Office
put some robbers out of action: they successfully clamped down on 10 cases, killing
and arresting 5 and 33 criminals; 22 guns and one grenade were confiscated together
with five cars and eight motorcycles which were handed back to the victims.
During the last three months, security in Phnom Penh has worsened compared with that
of the first 6 months of 1993, when there were 127 cases of robbery causing 18 victims
to be killed and 29 injured.
However, the result of the combatting activities by police was as successful as it
is now: 13 of 127 cases were subjugated with five criminals killed and 32 arrested.
Comparing the security situation of 1992 with '93, we see that the number of robberies
have increased by 31 cases with 13 injuries ahead, but 4 fewer deaths.
According to Maj. Song Morithya, deputy head of the Phnom Penh Criminal Police Office,
most of the robbery attempts are oriented towards motor taxi drivers and especially
Maj. Song said his office has been applying a number of measures to deal with robberies,
including increasing checks for explosive, improving the ability and promoting specialized
work of police, and particularly encouraging people to strengthen self-defense and
to cooperate with the police in wiping out robberies in the country. Yet, he refuse
to let out other key approaches, saying: " It's like telling our tricks to robbers
if we speak of all measures."
Robbers may come from gangs, foreign criminals migrating from neighboring countries,
demobilized citizens who were previously serving in the military, police and other
forces , especially old jail birds who used to commit such crimes.