Subscribe Search

Search form

Cops say many bag-snatching claims are bogus

Cops say many bag-snatching claims are bogus

Unofficial reports of bag snatching in Siem Reap, especially in the Wat Bo Rd area, are increasing alarmingly, according to anecdotal reports.

But police say that they believe 75 per cent of cases brought to their attention recently were bogus insurance claims.

Police went so far as to accuse some people of making claims as “liars.”

Warnings on travel forums report numerous bag-snatchings in downtown Siem Reap, and indicate that there seems to be a “spate of bag-snatching” in Siem Reap.

A backpacker named Beebo said on the Thorn Tree Travel Forum page that the thieves are guys on motorcycles targeting lone female tourists walking home at nighttime: “Thieves are using motorcycle to get around, targeting single females at night in dark streets, and both sides of the river.”

Rachel Band, the general manager of Rosy Guesthouse in Siem Reap Rachel Band told Insider that one of her guests had been targeted a few weeks ago.

“We did have a guest who had her bag snatched by two people on a motorbike while she was walking back from the Old Market with her friend,” she said.

Rachel added that that woman tried to file a report to the tourist police the next day but they would not give her a copy of the report. She said, “I am not sure of the exact reason why no report could be given, but this would have made an insurance claim very difficult for the tourist.”

Meas Vito, an official of the Tourist Police Unit in Siem Reap said that complaints of bag snatching increased since the beginning of May, and there have been four cases.

But police have only filed a report about one case.

Meas Vito said, “After investigation and questioning them, three of them are liars because they told police they made the allegation to just make an insurance claim even though they didn’t get snatched.”

Thus they could not be given a police report, he said, adding, “What we need is proof or an eyewitness, but they didn’t have either.”

He added that after Tourist Police refused to file a report, most of the complainants felt angry and tried to spread bad news about the police and bag snatching.

“We heard what they have said. We cannot stop them, but the truth is the truth,” he said.

He also claims that some of the obviously increased reports in May and June are due to carelessness, with people often losing their own bags.

He cautioned, “Prevention is always better than cure.”

But Soun San, Siem Reap district police chief told Siem Reap Insider that police are still working on this issue to reduce the cases of bag snatching.

“As I remember at the end of April we arrested a lady boy after allegedly snatching a foreigner’s bag in Siem Reap town,” he added. “The victim was leaving a minimart when the group grabbed his bag and police appeared on the scene when he shouted for help.”


  • Professor beaten by mob in Phnom Penh after alleged hit-and-run

    Updated with new information: 6:44am, Tuesday March 13 2018 A university professor accused of a hit-and-run has been transported to Vietnam with serious head injuries after he was brutally beaten by a mob in Phnom Penh late Sunday afternoon. A video of the attack shows a group

  • American ‘fugitive’ arrested in Cambodia outside of US Embassy

    An American citizen was arrested on request by the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Tuesday, according to Cambodian police. Major General Uk Hei Sela, chief of investigations at the Department of Immigration, identified the man as American Jan Sterling Hagen, and said he was

  • One Australian, one Cambodian killed in explosion at military base

    Updated: 5:20pm, Friday 16 March 2018 An Australian tourist and a Cambodian soldier were killed in an explosion on Thursday afternoon at an army base in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province. The Australian, whom the government initially identified as a technical demining expert in his 40s, and

  • Australians protest Asean summit visit by PM Hun Sen

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Friday to protest against Cambodian strongman Hun Sen, who claimed to have been gifted millions of dollars by the Australian government ahead of a special Asean summit this weekend. An estimated 300 protesters, the majority of