KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The suspect who savagely attacked a woman on Valentine's Day at the Taman Mutiara MRT station in Kuala Lumpur had shaved his head to avoid detection when police stormed into his flat and arrested him.
The man knew he was being hunted, said Kuala Lumpur police chief Mazlan Lazim.
"He did not even turn on the lights in his flat except for a few minutes when he ate or went to the toilet," he told reporters on Tuesday (Feb 19).
The suspect was arrested at Taman Cheras, a housing area in Kuala Lumpur, around 8.10pm on Monday.
Describing the man, 26, as a hardened criminal with a serious drug addiction, Datuk Seri Mazlan said the man frequently resorted to violence in his crimes.
"He does not hesitate to use violence if the victim does not co-operate. He is a member of the 08 gang, and we have connected him with six cases of theft and robbery so far," he said.
The man also has four prior criminal convictions related to drugs, fighting and robbery.
Mr Mazlan said police tracked the suspect using closed-circuit television footage from a supermarket which he robbed shortly before the attack that went viral.
During the incident last Thursday (Feb 14), the 48-year-old woman suffered multiple injuries, including bruises on her forehead, after she was savagely attacked by a robber in a lift at about 6.45am.
The assailant escaped with her MyKad, ATM cards and RM400 (S$133) in cash.
A CCTV recording that went viral shows the woman entering the lift, followed by the man, who then punched and kicked her repeatedly.
Police managed to identify him and his motorcycle through the footage.
The man is said to be involved in criminal activity since 2014.
"He works as an air-conditioner repairman. When there is no work, he resorts to crime to fuel his drug habit," said Mr Mazlan said.
He said the man tested positive for methamphetamine and Ecstasy.
Police also recovered 19 mobile phones, ATM cards and random tools believed to have been used for breaking into houses.
"So far, we believe he works alone but we are checking if there are accomplices," Mr Mazlan said.
He urged the public to be cautious and aware of their surroundings at all times.
"If you see anyone suspicious, please contact the police immediately," he said.