Military police in Phnom Penh killed two suspected thieves in a shootout yesterday, hours after the pair, and two other suspects, allegedly gunned down a motorist during a heist.
The two men, aged 25 and 26, confronted about 10 armed officers after being surrounded in a treed area in the capital’s Prek Phnov district, where they fled when their two alleged accomplices in the robbery, and two other women linked to the case, were arrested, according to Phuong Sophy, Prek Pnov military police commander.
“When our forces arrived, [the suspects] fired first, [shooting] twice at our force and then three times more,” Pnov said.
“Our force decided to fire back for our safety, killing two.”
According to police, yesterday’s dramatic events began at 5am, when four men tried to steal the motorbike of 21-year-old Den Dararith in the capital’s Tuol Kork district.
Dararith had fled the group’s initial robbery attempt but, atop two motorbikes, the suspects chased him to his home, shot him in the head and stole the bike.
Following the attack, national and military police launched a manhunt and eventually located the four men, plus two women they say were accomplices, in Russey Keo district yesterday afternoon.
Officers were able to detain four of the group, though the pair, described as the “ringleaders”, escaped, leading to the eventual shootout, said Phnom Penh Municipality Military Police secretary chief Ou Kim An.
“The four confessed to the robbery. They are the only people involved with this case. We are questioning them to get detailed information,” Kim An said.
Kim An said the detained suspects, held at the Phnom Penh military police station and due to face court this weekend, had told officers the men killed were involved with “many robberies” in the capital.
“We found 18 bullets with one of the dead suspects, and the guns were seized,” Kim An added.
“We are searching for other suspects who are involved with previous robberies in Phnom Penh, including in Boeung Kak 1 and Boeung Kak 2.”
Kou Oeun, Ponhea Pon commune chief, said nobody except the suspects was injured in the shootout.