Friday, 25 April 2014

Snatch Thief on the prowl In Malacca

I never thought something like this would happen to me..

Me and my friends went on a quick tour around Malacca after paying a visit to a friend who was hospitalised at Pantai Hospital Ayer Keroh.

Burglary is a scenario you don't think about until it happens to you. Other people may think that you are being strong or that you may feel that you could have done something to prevent it. Obviously, I was wrong for not to take further precaution actions.

 I had a gold necklace snatched from my neck by a snatch thief on a motorbike when the incident took place at about 1.30pm. After composing myself from shock, I search the spot to see my precious gold cross that my mother had bought me if by any  chance of being dropped. However, no such luck.

I was wearing my gold cross necklace that I have worn possibly thousand times before, tuck inside my shirt hidden from view but the cross that I had worn since childhood is now gone forever.

A CCTV image at Malacca. I believe this is the same snatch thief who snatch my gold neckless. Unfortunately this December 17, 2014 shows another victim falls prey to snatch thief. This time the thief snatches her purse right off her shoulder, pulls her while she's desperately trying to hold. Thank God she was not seriously hurt.


Did I managed to see the face of the villain? No, as he was wearing a tinted full face helmet.

First of all, let me make it clear first that I don't wear my necklace like the way Mr. T wore and display prominently his heavy neck chains and bracelets, thus attracting the unwanted attention.


 Mr. T: Gold chains were his  trademark 


Following is a list of Do's and Don't's when you're walking the streets, there are also other people out there who will come up behind you and take this opportunity to rob you. Although this is a case of 'too little too late' for me now.

 Don't's

1. Walking alone on unlit streets, across dark openland etc makes you more vulnerable to crime.

Most people know that they shouldn’t walk home late at night or in the early hours of the morning on their own, but many people still do it is either a choice or it is not. Maybe I was naive, apparently feeling confident that it would never happen to me. Not that quickly. Not in broad daylight.

2. Avoid talking on your mobile while walking because, you are unaware of what’s going on around you.

 A moment's carelessness can leads to heavy losses , we have to keep an eye out for anything unusual  when walking along public roads. While you're totally engrossed in a mobile phone conversation, makes you less aware of your surroundings. Just when you momentarily let my guard down, BANG..the thief strikes you with a 'sucker punch' and get away with your precious possession.

3. Don't flaunt your wealth by wearing expensive jewelry in public like Hollywood movie stars.

These days, it's better to look poor and be safe, than look rich and be a victim.

4. A purse snatch (robbery) can occur anywhere at anytime. In order to reduce your risk, there are many precautions you can take preventive measure.

Hold your handbag firmly at all times. Carry it so it can't be snatched from behind or grabbed by a person in a passing vehicle. A growing concern on women falling prey to snatch theft, a strong tug or resist can cause serious physical damage to the body caused by a hard fall.

Never leave your handbag on the car seat beside you even while you're driving.Thugs will not be hesitate to smash the side window glass to grab and run.
Do not leave the handbag on the table while dining at restaurants to risks someone snatching it. My aunt  lose her handbag that way.

Do's

1. Always be alert when walking out on the streets.

 By the way, I was being alert when my sixth sense tell me somebody is trailing me. I look at the back and saw the  no-good person stopped his motorcycle. Thinking I was being paranoid I keep on walking till suddenly I felt a motorcycle at almost full throttle beside me. I thought he innocently appeared as though the rider lost his balance on his motorcycle but .. Oh darn, I felt a hand grabbing the back of my neck that it became evident to me that someone was trying to steal my gold chain.  In an instant, he had grabbed my chain and was speeding off.

It happened so fast that I have no time to react. How often do you trust your gut? How often do you ignore it? Trust your force, David. Why didn't you?

2.  Those wearing jewellery should walk in groups.

I was with them when momentarily break off from the pack while crossing the street. Like a flock of sheep those who stray behind will be attack from behind. The wolves see me the same as prey and stalk attack from behind during the separation.

3.  Try to wear tops with collars to cover my neck.

This will make you less conspicuous of your gold jewelry but  not full proof protection.

4. Try to walk off the main road and onto walk paths or five-foot walkways.

Snatch thieves prefer to strike on deserted roads or lanes, where the villains get away speed off instantly.

5. Pedestrian should armed themselves for protection.

You must be thinking of you get to carry a gun and act like its the Wild West. No guns are allowed but you may get umbrella to be used as a weapon or shield.

What can the government do to fight snatch theft?

a. The police need to implement more effective measures to nab snatch thieves throughout the country, police should have been seen more frequently on the street on patrol and in uniform.

 It's just like the old saying goes..When the cat's away, the mice will play.

b.  Set up police booths at area of high crime rate.

c. All local authorities should introduce initiatives and implement the guidelines under the safe city concept to provide safety features, make sure the pedestrian walkways or kaki lima is free of obstacle.  Many shop owners encroaching on the footpaths. Stern action shiould be taken against those found flouting the rules.



Some shop owners in Little India continue to flout the rules and block tact tile block for the blind.
Why there are shop that have table and chair at the walkway that is not remove by local council ?
 Some shop owners had set up stalls in front of their premises and were blocking the walkways, when I was unable to use the walkway I was forced to leave the walkway which gave the opportunity for the robber to employ rob-and-run tactics.


d.   A warning signboard should be provided along pedestrian to warn the sector is a favourite target for snatch theft.
Beware of snatch thief sign boards to alert potential victims to to remain vigilant 

e. More stringent punishment must be meted out to those convicted of snatch thefts commensurate with the seriousness of the offence. Hudud law perhaps? No, the  punishment is too cruel despite how I hate the mugger for taking away my golden cross. Just hope there will be God's justice meted to him, let him die a painful death and rot in Hell!


f. The Transport Ministry should consider banning full face helmet again in the future like in the 1970s. In response to calls from the publicto ban it as there have been many cases of robberies and snatch thefts, not to mention fatal shootings involving hired killers using full face helmets with heavily tinted visors.

By having a  full-face motorcycle helmets, criminals can misused them to conceal their faces to avoid identification by their victims.

Talk is cheap and actions always speak louder than words.  Let's hope the law-enforcement authorities in the area take action sooner than later. A high incidence of crime can leave a bad taste in the mouth of an arriving tourist.

I believe that the jewelry and handbag sales will also suffered eventually due to consumers afraid to wear jewelry and ladies reluctant to carry her handbag due to widespread crime of mug or snatch especially by motorists.

In the aftermath of the incident, I am wary of even the lightest movement around me would leave me anxiety and fear.

I, like other snatch theft victims, have to deal with stigma of Trauma after this incident. I feel irrational hatred for motorcycle especially the bigger bike and detest the sight and sound of them as they reminded me by this trauma inflicted on me by a selfish person who is unwilling to work hard for a living.

I won't be able to feel safe in Malacca for quite sometime and I don't intend to return for another visit till another 10 years or perhaps sooner than later when someday I forget about it.

Some people faced unlucky periods during their life but most people has cycles of good and bad luck in their life stages. Just like in the movie "Final Destination", sooner or later the Grim Reaper will get you but the victims are unaware of what is happening around them.

So in the first Stage I survived without a scratch, for now.

No matter how much we look back at the past, we can never go back. We can not change what has already happened.No Turning Back the Clock or to be a film director who can shoot the same scene over and over.

Looking back on it now,  what would you do differently in ...What If factor?

Maybe some things just are meant to happen..In the past I may have ignore all the safety precautions like  walking down a dark, deserted alley late at night but no untoward incident occurs. On the contrary on a busy street which generally regard as safe place someone snatches my necklace. It puzzles me just by thinking about it.

Bad luck, karma, whatever you want to call it. I need to believe in fate, I must believe or accept that I have no idea what is going  but someone or something does. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and I guess I should just be grateful to God that no  serious bodily injury harm comes to me.

Money can be lost and earned again. But your life you never get back.




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