Medical worker arrested in Penang over 22 burglaries

Northeast district police chief Assistant Commissioner Soffian Santong said the suspect was believed to have been committing the break-ins since 2014. ― Picture by Sayuti Zainuddin
Northeast district police chief Assistant Commissioner Soffian Santong said the suspect was believed to have been committing the break-ins since 2014. ― Picture by Sayuti Zainuddin

GEORGE TOWN, April 28 ― A police task force arrested a healthcare worker at his home here on April 23 in connection to a series of break-ins over six years at the condominium where he was residing.

The 38-year-old allegedly broke into other units of the condominium block along Gurney Drive in the mornings and stole items from the living room.

Northeast district police chief Assistant Commissioner Soffian Santong said the suspect was believed to have been committing the break-ins since 2014.

“Following his arrest, our investigations revealed that 22 house break-in cases in this condominium involving losses amounting to RM493,615 were solved,” he said in a statement today.

He said the suspect did not have any previous criminal records and his modus operandi was to enter units through unlocked entrances.

He added that stolen items worth about RM160,000 were found in the suspect's living area and one of the rooms in the unit.

Among the items seized in the raid included eight Malaysian identity cards, two drivers' licences, one Malaysian passport, three Japanese passports, 26 laptops, 19 SmartTags, 67 smartphones of various brands, six televisions, 16 branded handbags, 13 branded backpacks and three luggage bags.

Soffian said the suspect has been remanded until May 1 and will be investigated under Section 457 of the Penal Code for housebreaking, which carries a jail term of up to 14 years, a fine, and with whipping for repeat offenders.

In a separate case, police arrested three people including a trainee doctor for alleged involvement in 13 burglary cases this month at a condominium in Persiaran Halia 3 in Tanjung Tokong.

The first suspect, a 34-year-old man with no previous records, was arrested in an ambush at the condominium at about 8pm on April 23.

“Following his arrest, we raided an apartment unit in Jalan Batu Ferringhi and seized items such as two branded luggages, four branded bags, four branded purses, a pair of Nike sports shoes, two bottles of liquor, three branded perfumes and two cameras,” he said.

Two days later, based on a tip-off, a married couple was arrested in front of the elevators at Level 35 of the condominium block at about 11.20am.

The man then led the police to a store room located on the same level where items such as two televisions, six bags of branded clothes, one speaker, one vacuum cleaner and various electronic items, believed to be stolen, were found and subsequently seized.

Soffian said the man, 24, was unemployed and has six previous criminal records including drug offences while his wife, a trainee doctor in her 20s, did not have any.

“We have solved 13 house break-in cases involving losses amounting to RM296,350 with the arrest of these three suspects,” he said.

The items seized in the raids at the apartment in Batu Ferringhi and at the store room were worth about RM80,000, he said.

All three have been remanded and will be investigated under Section 457 of the Penal Code for housebreaking.

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