Theft and snatching of valuables went up in the capital last month, with 63 incidents reported and 64 arrests made in 50 cases – an increase of 30 from July. Of these, 13 cases are yet to result in any arrest.
Suy Sokunthea, the deputy director of the Criminal Police Department, told The Post on Wednesday that while there had been an increase in cases of theft and snatching in August compared to July, authorities had also cracked down on more cases last month.
In July, there were 33 reported incidents of theft and snatching of valuables, with 32 suspects arrested in 22 cases, he said.
“In August, there were no reported cases of robberies, while theft cases included house break-ins, which happened more than the incidents of street snatching of bags and phones from locals and foreigners,” Sokunthea said.
The National Police announced on its website on Wednesday that the Criminal Police Department had held a meeting in Phnom Penh to exchange experiences on the prevention of theft and the snatching of valuables.
In Bora, the deputy chief of National Police, said at the meeting that while such cases had increased, he was satisfied that all forces had cooperated well in cracking down on them more effectively.
“All the relevant forces must continue to work together to further prevent such crimes. We must aim to reduce crime to maintain security and public order, and ensure safety for both citizens and tourists,” he said.
Phnom Penh police chief Sar Thet on Wednesday said cases of theft and snatching valuables increased in some months and decreased in others.
He said such crimes increased because some thieves were repeat offenders who had just been released from prison and continued offending. Other cases involved new suspects or were prompted by drug use.
“Some people when released from prison will reform their ways, while others will not. Cases of theft and snatching valuables happen a lot in Por Sen Chey and Tuol Kork districts because these areas have a lot of people who moved in from the provinces, with some households being lawless,” Thet said.
Affiliated Network for Social Accountability executive director San Chey said stealing and snatching valuables was a huge burden for society and one that the authorities must make efforts to prevent.
“The authorities should take preventative measures to keep the victims of these crimes to a minimum,” he said.
The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Wednesday charged two 17-year-olds with aggravated theft which caused the death of their victim. They were sent to pre-trial detention at Prey Sar prison, Fresh News reported.
Late last month, the two teenagers attempted to snatch a phone from a Chinese national in Boeung Keng Kang district while on a stolen motorbike.
It caused the 37-year-old victim to fall from the tuk-tuk he was riding in and resulted in his death due to serious head injuries.