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Rising Thefts

Rising Thefts

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

cassette players.

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

at night.

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.

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