Thursday October 26, 2006
Bank safe vault raided, valuables worth RM500,000 taken
By ANDREW SAGAYAM
SERI KEMBANGAN: It was a bountiful Hari Raya for burglars who drilled into a bank safe deposit vault and escaped with over RM500,000 worth of jewellery and other valuables.
Taking advantage of the long festive break, the burglars broke into the Public Bank branch here, just like a similar case at Cheras in 1995.
It is learnt that the security alarm did not go off. With no security guards to worry about, the burglars then put their drills and tools to good use at the second floor of the five-storey building. They drilled and hacked a 31cm hole to get to the floor below where the vault was located.
Using a rope, the burglars slid down to the first floor and forced open 92 of the 708 safe deposit boxes, with the use of sharp objects and hammers.
The exact date and time of the break-in has yet to be ascertained.
Selangor police chief Dept Comm Datuk Ismail Omar said police were on the lookout for at least two men known to conduct such break-ins.
He said there were CCTVs in the bank but none on the second floor and the safe deposit vault area.
We are also checking if the alarm system was faulty.
We are investigating all possible angles, said DCP Ismail when met at the Ampang Jaya district police headquarters.
At 5.30pm yesterday, a team from the Subang Jaya district police headquarters rushed to the bank after being informed by a security firm that it received an alert at their office that the banks alarm had gone off.
The team, assisted by the state forensics unit, found a drill, gloves and other tools strewn on the second floor.
Upon hearing the patrol car sirens at the bank yesterday, a 30-year-old man rushed over. He claimed to have keptjewellery worth thousands of ringgit that were in a safe deposit box.
How can the bank let this happen? he asked angrily.
The top floor of the building houses the office of Serdang MP Datuk Yap Pian Hon, who had dropped in at his office at 3pm yesterday to pick up some documents.
He only found out about the break-in when he and his friends at a nearby coffeeshop saw patrol cars speeding by.
In March 1995, a gang dubbed as the Tunnel Rats drilled into the vault of a Mayban Finance Bhd branch in Taman Cheras, emptying about 640 safety deposit boxes of cash, jewellery and share certificates worth RM30mil.
The burglars are still at large.