A NOTORIOUS gold thief was killed during a bungled car robbery early Wednesday morning that also left one police officer dead, say city authorities.
MunicipalPolice Chief Touch Naruth said the bandit – who authorities believe was behind a series of gold robberies in Phnom Penh and the provinces – exchanged fire with police after he stole a black Toyota Corolla from Phnom Penh and was chased along National Road 6 on Tuesday night.
Chuon Narin, chief of the Municipal Police department’s serious crime bureau, said police received a call about a stolen vehicle at around 11:30 on Tuesday night.
Police pursued the suspect to a residence in Russei Keo, where the man then stopped the car and opened fire, killing police officer Prel Dara, 26.
Two women, believed to have been the offender’s girlfriends, were arrested on the scene on suspicion of aiding him in the robbery and are being held at the municipal police station for further questioning.
“They confessed that they were accomplices of the offender in the stealing of the car … and we will send them to Phnom Penh Municipal Court for further investigation on Thursday,” he said.
Chuon Narin said the man killed in the shootout was suspected of involvement in several crimes, including a “massive” gold robbery in Russei Keo’s Svay Pak commune and the robbery of an ACLEDA Bank branch in Kandal province.
“This is a big success for our police, to gun down a mastermind … but we were terribly sorry that our policeman was killed,” he added.
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