$67k in jewellery, cash stolen in latest Malaysian gem theft

MELAKA • Burglars have escaped with RM200,000 (S$67,000) worth of jewellery and cash from a goldsmith shop in Melaka, the latest in a string of gem thefts to have hit Malaysia in the past few weeks.

On Saturday, a goldsmith shop owner was about to open for business when he discovered that his premises at Bandar Jasin 2 had been broken into.

Jasin district police chief Arshad Abu said the 63-year-old shop owner then lodged a police report.

The burglary is believed to have been carried out the previous night by more than one suspect, who entered the premises by climbing over the grille gate at the back before clambering onto the roof.

"The suspects then removed the zinc roofing and broke the ceiling to enter the premises," Mr Arshad said in a statement on Saturday. He added that the burglars had cut off the wires for the alarm system. They then cut the padlock to the strongroom before breaking open two safes which held jewellery and cash amounting to RM200,000.

Mr Arshad said preliminary investigations found that 10 CCTV cameras were installed inside and outside the premises but the burglars had taken the CCTV decoder.

He added that the shop, which operated from 10am to 6pm, was run entirely by family members.

Separately, Malaysian police yesterday said they had arrested eight suspects involved in a daring heist on Dec 31, when five robbers stormed a shop in Cheras and took just three minutes to break into display cases and make off with jewellery worth RM1.5 million.

It is believed that the same gang was involved in another robbery on Jan 4, when three men wearing full-face helmets took only two minutes to cart off RM370,000 worth of jewellery from a goldsmith's shop in Kajang.

On Jan 5, Malaysian police said they had shot dead one of the suspects believed to be involved in a string of jewellery heists in Seremban and the Klang Valley.

BERNAMA, THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 15, 2018, with the headline '$67k in jewellery, cash stolen in latest Malaysian gem theft'. Print Edition | Subscribe