A Kandal man was shot dead and three of his family members were seriously wounded during an armed home invasion on Monday, as the spate of robberies that has plagued the Kingdom in recent months continued.
Thuok Thavara, 29, died after being shot by three masked intruders during an evening break-in at his home in Kandal Stung district’s Trapang Kok village. His mother, brother and teenaged niece also received serious injuries, according to commune police chief Khan Saret. They were sent to a private clinic in Phnom Penh.
“[The killers] wore a jacket and masks. They walked in the house and shot them while they were sitting having dinner,” said district police chief Men Chanrith, adding that the killers possessed an AK-47 assault rifle and a K-59 handgun.
The intruders took off with expensive jewellery and nearly $3,000 worth of cash. No suspects had yet been identified.
“Our authorities are searching out the suspects’ identities so that we can bring them to justice,” Chanrith said.
The same day, a pair of alleged armed robbers wanted for the murder of a civil servant during a jewellery shop heist in Kampong Speu province in December were arrested.
In Thoeun, a clerk who worked for the Maha Saing commune authorities, was fatally shot with an AK-47 assault rifle during the robbery of his nephew’s gold shop at a local market. He died on the way to the provincial hospital. The robbers managed to get away with $20,000 worth of platinum.
Say Bunthan, police chief of Phnom Srouch district, said that one suspect was arrested in his district, where the robbery occurred, while the other was arrested in Pailin province.
“Police arrested them in suspicion of the killing of the commune clerk,” he said, adding that he could not yet reveal their identities. The robbery was the second such robbery in the province that month.
In a seemingly unrelated coincidence, National Police chief Neth Savoeun convened a special meeting of police officers yesterday in Phnom Penh to discuss armed crime prevention, said police spokesman Saran Kamsoth.
In response to the recent spike in robberies, the Ministry of Justice announced earlier this month the end of pardons and early release for prisoners who have committed serious offences, a practice Prime Minister Hun Sen had criticised as contributing to the crime wave.