No witnesses, no surveillance camera recordings. The robbery of a married couple from England in Legian, one of the busiest areas in Kuta, looks quite peculiar. And not just because of the substantial amount the spouses lost.
Robert Kirwin and Rebecca Hollis came on vacation to the paradise island from Newport. As the victims recounted, the robbery occurred in the evening when the couple was returning to their villa in the Jalan Padma Utara area. The British were chased by two culprits on a motorbike. One of the men attempted to snatch the tourist's bag. However, the girl resisted, holding onto it.
Instead of fleeing, one of the presumed criminals got off the scooter and pointed an object resembling a knife at the tourists. The spouses were forced to surrender all the valuables they had with them.
And those valuables turned out to be a whopping 570 million rupiahs (around $38,000). According to local media, the head of the family worked as a jeweler in his home country. He informed the Kuta police that the robbers took away men's and women's gold necklaces and four women's gold rings.
Kuta Police Chief Yogi Pramagita stated that his officers are already investigating the robbery. On the same night, law enforcement examined the crime scene. However, these efforts have yet to yield any results. Pramagita also mentioned that no one witnessed the moment of the crime. There is not a single witness, even though the incident occurred at 9 in the evening. The robbers also didn't appear on the surveillance camera footage around the crime scene. Social media users, commenting on the news of the robbery, express doubts:
"Something strange about this incident... Foreigners rarely take valuable items with them when traveling... and if they do, they usually keep them in the hotel safe... and no one saw how it happened, even though it was only 9 in the evening... Legian is still crowded at that time... Hmmmm...."
News of this high-profile crime spread through almost all Balinese media and seemingly attracted the attention of high-ranking officials on the island of gods.
The Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno, stated to journalists: "Bali remains a safe place; there can be no doubts about it. Unpleasant incidents can happen during trips abroad in any country in the world, similar to what happened to the British tourists in Kuta." He urged all tourists arriving on the island not to lose vigilance and to be cautious.
Another official responsible for promoting Bali, Ketut Yadnya Winarta, emphasized that law and order on the island are in good shape. "This incident does not mean that Bali has problems with crime. We can say that overall Bali is still safe," he explained in an official statement.
Ketut compared Bali to a piece of sugar that ants are trying to eat. "Bali attracts not only business people and job seekers but also irresponsible individuals. In the past, to counteract this, we have taken a series of measures to maintain the safety of Bali, such as involving pecalang (traditional Balinese security) in maintaining order," he reminded. "Regarding the news about tourists being robbed in Kuta, the Bali police are currently investigating. If it did indeed happen, I hope the criminals will be arrested soon," promised Ketut Winarta.
It sounds good, of course, but how exactly the police will search for clues without any leads is a big question...
Meanwhile, the investigation of another high-profile robbery that stirred up expats in Bali is slowly but steadily progressing. The Lombok police are handling this case as the crime occurred on Gili Trawangan Island. A Russian couple was robbed in their hotel room while they were peacefully sleeping. The thieves took a backpack with all their electronics from the table near the bed.
As a result, the travelers lost a laptop, tablet, phones, headphones, cash, and scooter documents. They estimated the total damage at $10,000. The hotel staff, where it all happened, informed the police that their guests were without belongings and threatened to file a counterclaim for slander.
However, using the geotag on AirPods, the wife managed to track one of the culprits. The operation at the Lombok port, accompanied by the police, resembled a scene from a Hollywood blockbuster. To avoid drawing attention, law enforcement officers dressed the young man in old clothes. While he, relying on the data on the tablet, searched for his headphones, they followed him.
The first detained suspect, after interrogation, implicated an accomplice on Trawangan. The accomplice led them to an empty lot where both iPhones were found. Additionally, the police conducted a search at the home of one of the hotel employees, where the theft occurred, and found several dozen disassembled smartphones. However, the missing laptop could not be found. The investigation is ongoing.
Meanwhile, messages about money theft from Permata bank cards began appearing in expat chats. Apparently, classic skimmers are in operation. The Bali Forum editorial team reminds everyone of the basic rules that can help protect themselves from criminals.