Kandal provincial police yesterday said they have arrested six established thieves and shuttered five pawn shops in Kampong Chhnang and Kampong Speu provinces that were buying stolen motorbikes from the group.
At a press conference yesterday morning, Roeun Nara, chief of the provincial serious crime bureau, said that the six robbers, aged 17 to 22, were arrested after an investigation by his police alongside Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Speu and Phnom Penh police.
“The joint operation between our forces led to the arrest of the six robbers, as well as the closing of five pawn shops and the arrest of the shops’ six owners,” said Mr Nara, adding that the investigation took place from Sunday to Tuesday.
Mr Nara said the group was stealing motorbikes from victims in his province and then selling the goods off to shops in the other provinces.
He said a husband and wife were on Sunday robbed of their motorbike by the group, after which a complaint was filed with police, leading to the three-day investigation.
“There were three districts facing these crimes, Kandal Stung district, Takhmao city and Dangkor district, where the robbers would violently attack their victims to steal their posssesions,” he said. “They would hack them, and beat them at night, like on Sunday, when a couple was attacked on the way home from a garment factory at night.”
“For three days we investigated them, learning that they had often committed these crimes,” he added. “Our investigation and arrest of the robbers led us to the pawn shops, where we seized 16 motorbikes and found about 60 licence plates.”
Mr Nara noted that anyone who had a motorbike or car stolen from them in the province should get in touch with his office to see if their licence plate or vehicle was found by police.
Contacted by phone after the press conference, Mr Nara said the 12 people arrested were already sent to court for questioning yesterday, but could not confirm if any charges had been laid yet.
Eav Chamroeun, Kandal provincial police chief, said the investigation was a success and also noted that the suspects had been sent to court yesterday.
Court officials could not be reached for comment.