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Man charged over string of capital bike thefts

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
The accused. Koh Santepheap

Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday charged a man suspected of being in a gang responsible for the theft of 350 motorbikes in Phnom Penh over the course of the last three years.

Major General Pol Ratana, the Interior Ministry’s penal department deputy chief, yesterday identified the accused as 28-year-old Keo Sarin.

Mr Sarin was charged with theft, possession of an illegal weapon and drug use, Maj Gen Ratana said.

He said that Mr Sarin was arrested on Friday after he and an unnamed accomplice, who escaped arrest, robbed a motorbike from a victim in Prampi Makara district on Thursday at gunpoint.

“He confessed that he’s part of a gang who have been robbing people in the capital,” he said, noting that the accused boasted of 350 robberies.

The gun he used to rob victims of their motorbikes. Koh Santepheap

Maj Gen Ratana added that the stolen bikes were sold at stores across the city and that the money was divided amongst each gang member.

Captain Ly Sok, a Prampi Makara district police officer, said Mr Sarin and the unnamed accomplice robbed 25-year-old Srun Sokphalkun’s motorbike in Veal Vong commune on Thursday.

“The victim was parking his bike at about 3am when Mr Sarin and his accomplice pointed a gun at the victim and threatened to kill him if he did not give up the key to his bike,” Cap Sok said, noting that the victim filed a complaint with police the next day.

Mr Sarin was later arrested in Daun Penh district. Cap Sok said that police managed to arrest Mr Sarin after officers viewed CCTV footage of the robbery.

He noted that police confiscated one motorbike, one pistol and small bag of drugs after the arrest.

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