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Image: On the banks of Taman Pancing River. Credit:

In two different incidents police managed to rid the Bali streets of two bag/phone snatchers in the past week.

A 29 year old Danish woman was looking for a surf shop when she had her phone snatched while on her motorbike. She went out with a friend at around 4pm Wednesday from Kima Surf Camp Hotel, Seminyak, to buy surfing equipment. She was using the phone as a GPS to search for the store and then it was snatched by the suspect.

The snatcher was a Karangasem teenager, with the initials WM, 15, and the incident took place in front of Tanah Kilap Temple on the By Pass Road near Suwung, South Denpasar.

The woman fell off the bike and twisted her ankle but managed to also bring the suspect down off his bike at the same time. The man then tried to escape by jumping into Taman Pancing River. A passerby on motorbike reported the incident to police further up the By Pass and they arrived quickly to find the young man in the river being pelted by rocks from a crowd of locals along the river bank.

“When we arrived at the scene we saw that residents were throwing stones at the thief,” Police Sergeant Suyana said to Then Suyana, who was accompanied by two other policemen, told the suspect to get out and his safety was guaranteed by them. “Maybe because he was exhausted, he did what we asked and then we got him out from the area,” he said. The angry residents tried to hit him, but the police managed to calm them down. The suspect admitted that it was his fifth time snatching phones. The man was taken to South Denpasar Polsek and the victim went to BIMC for a check-up.

Meanwhile, another snatcher, H, 31, from Jember, East Java, who was working as construction laborer, was caught by the police after they received a report from a 22 year old Dutch woman back in early March. The incident took place in the Seminyak area when the victim was sightseeing and on her way back home to a homestay on Jalan Drupadi I, Seminyak, her bag was snatched by a man passing by on a motorbike. It was reported to police, who then went to the scene and watched the CCTV footage. From the footage police made out the make, color and license plate of the motorbike. After further investigation, they found out that the suspect lived on Jalan Danau Tempe, Sanur. The suspect either saw them coming or was tipped off and managed to escape and hadn’t been seen since. Then, last Sunday, April 1, at around 11.45am, police saw the suspect passing along Jalan Oberoi, Seminyak. They pursued him until he fell off his bike in front of La Sicilia restaurant on the same road. “Because he still tried to escape, we shot him in the leg,” said the Head of Kuta Polsek, Police Commissioner I Nyoman Wirajaya on Thursday.

He also told reporters that the suspect had admitted snatching bags or phones from foreigners at least 20 times. “He admitted 17 times in Kuta/Seminyak and three times in Sanur and that he had acted alone,” he said to

The Kuta police chief also said that the suspect had been in operation since December 2017.

“We are still questioning him, because we believe he is still lying. We want to know whether he was part of a group or not. And in regard to the stolen goods, he said that goods of value were sold and anything else was thrown into the river,” Wirajaya said.