Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday charged a 24-year-old man who allegedly snatched a gun from a deputy police chief during a robbery in Chamkar Mon district last month.
Major Leang Piseth, a municipal police officer, identified the accused as Morn Samneang, who is jobless and lives in Phnom Penh.
He noted that the accused was charged with theft with aggravating circumstances and faces up to ten years in jail if convicted.
Maj Piseth said that at about 1.30pm on August 13, Lieutenant Colonel Meng Vimeandara, Meanchey district’s deputy police chief, was riding his motorbike from the district police station to his home in Chamkar Mon district.
He noted that Lt Col Vimeandara was in uniform, had his gun in the holster at his waist and a bag with his belongings slung on the motorbike handlebar.
Maj Piseth said Mr Samneang rode up to him and snatched the pistol from the victim’s waist and also the bag which contained a Samsung Galaxy S9 phone, an ID card, ATM cards and $20.
“He boldly snatched the pistol, with four bullets in it, from the police officer’s waist,” Maj Piseth said. “After snatching the pistol, he grabbed the bag and sped off.”
He noted that the robbery was recorded by a nearby shop’s CCTV and police arrested the accused on Saturday at the Tith Hour Guesthouse in Sen Sok district.
Maj Piseth said that after his arrest, police recovered the pistol and seized the accused’s motorbike, but did not find Lt Col Vimeandara’s other belongings.
Second Lieutenant Van Sokheng, another municipal police officer, said that during his interrogation, the accused admitted snatching the pistol and bag.
“He confessed that he took the pistol first,” he said. “He told us that he did so because he was afraid Lt Col Vimeandara would shoot him while he was snatching the bag,” Sec Lt Sokh
eng noted that the accused also said that he snatched bags from motorbike riders three times previously.
He added that Mr Samneang is now in prison pending his trial.