JAKARTA • Police in Bali have arrested two men in connection with a snatch theft involving a Singaporean couple who were on holiday on the Indonesian resort island last month.
The couple, Mr Eugene Aathar and his wife, Ms Dolly Ho, were injured in the incident.
Indonesian news site detik.com reported on Thursday that I Wayan Adiasa alias Dayuh, 26, and Komang Joni, 24, were nabbed on Tuesday in Legian, a neighbourhood north of Kuta beach where Mr Aathar and his wife were attacked on May 6. The robbery had received widespread media coverage.
"During the interrogation, the suspect Dayuh confessed to having committed the offence on the victims with his partner Komang Joni alias Mang Ewes," Commissioner Andi Fairan of Bali's force told reporters on Thursday.
Police said the tourists from Singapore were targeted as they appeared distracted while checking Google Maps on their smartphone.
Mr Aathar, 24, told The Straits Times during an interview after the incident that he and his wife were returning to their villa in Kuta on a scooter when they were attacked.
Ms Ho, 22, was riding pillion and navigating, using Google Maps on her smartphone, when the suspects pulled up alongside them on a motorcycle.
Egged on by Dayuh, Komang snatched Ms Ho's smartphone, said Commissioner Andi.
One of the suspects then kicked Mr Aathar's scooter, knocking him and his wife down. Mr Aathar had minor injuries while his wife suffered concussion and a fractured shoulder, among other injuries.
Ms Ho said she also experienced memory loss and could not recall what happened.
Commissioner Andi said the suspects sold the smartphone and split the proceeds, with each receiving 2.2 million rupiah (S$210).
"The proceeds of their crime were used for their daily needs," Commissioner Andi said. "Mang Ewes also admitted that he used the money to buy milk for his children and it was the first time he had committed snatch theft."
"It all happened so fast," Mr Aathar had earlier told The Straits Times, adding that he called for help as the culprits rode off.
A man then came up to him and asked where his scooter was. After Mr Aathar pointed to where it was, the man rode off on it.
The couple had rented the Honda Scoopy for 125,000 rupiah from the villa where they were staying.
A copy of the police report, seen by The Straits Times, shows they also lost 12 million rupiah which was kept on the scooter.
Mr Aathar eventually managed to stop a van driver, who drove them to Siloam Hospital Denpasar.
Mr Aathar told The Straits Times yesterday that he did not know of the arrests until the newspaper contacted him, and was surprised as he had thought it would be very difficult to catch the culprits.
He is now hoping that the person who stole the scooter he and his wife rented can also be identified.
"Of course it helps with getting closure. We cannot confirm it is them because everything happened so fast, and we don't want them to be wrongly prosecuted.
"But if it is the correct people, then it gives us reassurance that people can be brought to justice."
He said that his wife has been affected by the scars on her face, which could be permanent. She is otherwise "recovering well", and returned to work recently after being on medical leave for about a month.
• Additional reporting by Toh Ting Wei