PETALING JAYA: A woman whose family was robbed by several men wielding machetes last week has spoken of their ordeal, accusing the police of slow response to the incident.
VL Thivyah Veelurajan, 33, said the robbers made off with RM4,000, jewellery and gold worth RM60,000, several expensive watches and her Volkswagen Polo.
She said her sister had noticed three men wearing balaclavas climbing over the wall of their corner-lot, single-storey bungalow in New Green Park, Rawang, at about 2.30am on Aug 5.
“We were all fast asleep at that time. My sister came into my room with her eight-month-old son, asking me to call 999.
“They passed me to the local police station, and I gave them my details and hung up. Then I heard screams and left the room.”
Thivyah told FMT that she saw three men attacking her 67-year-old father with a machete. She said the men were upset that her father had tried to block them from entering through the back door.
She said her father had attempted to fend them off with a stick, but instead sustained cuts to his head from the machete. They later learnt that the cuts would take 30 stitches to close.
“They were also upset that my 90-year-old grandmother would not walk quickly,” she said.
“She was already wheezing from being rushed. They dragged her by her right shoulder so hard that she fell down. She fractured her right shoulder and broke her right hip.”
Once the men had rounded up all seven family members, she said, one kept watch while the others rifled through the house searching for valuables.
When they heard the sound of a police vehicle approaching, she said, they panicked and attempted to leave. At this point, it was about 3am.
“They got into an argument and they dropped some loot from their bags as they were trying to rush.”
However, she said the police were still not at the doorstep at that time.
She said the robbers asked if the red 2015 Volkswagen Polo parked in the driveway was GPS-equipped, as they wanted a car without a GPS detector.
When she said no, they asked her for the keys and left in the car without switching on the headlights.
“As they backed out, we followed behind only to see a police car at the end of the road.
“We thought great, they would stop the car. But the police car ignored them. The car’s lights were off – wouldn’t that be suspicious?”
At this point, it was 3.17am, she said.
Thivyah said she was approached by the policemen who asked if it was her red car the robbers had escaped in.
“I asked what they were doing, and they said I should have called Bilik Gerakan (Command Ops). They asked why I called 999.”
Similarly, when she made a report at the Rawang police station, she said, the officer attending to her also asked why she had not called Bilik Gerakan.
“How do you expect me to call when I do not have their number on speed dial?” she said.
“Furthermore, the only mobile phone available at that time was my sister’s, and it was locked. I could only dial 999.”
Thivyah said footage from a neighbour’s CCTV camera showed that the police had waited at the end of the road “for a long time” until her family emerged from the house looking for them.
Based on the same footage, she said, the three men had arrived with an accomplice in two cars. She said the two cars had left by the time the robbers got away in her car.
Thivyah said she had lodged two reports, one on the robbery and the other claiming nonchalance and indifference by the police in reacting to an emergency situation.
She said her grandmother was warded at Hospital Sungai Buloh where she was found to have blood clots in her lungs.
However, doctors said it was too risky to operate immediately on her broken limbs. She will only undergo surgery today, more than a week after the incident.
When contacted, Selangor deputy police chief Ab Rashid Ab Wahab said he had instructed an investigation into the robbery as well as Thivyah’s claim of slow response by the police.
“I have ordered the Integrity and Standard Compliance Department to look into her claims. If found to be true, the officers will face immediate punishment. We do not compromise on any wrongdoing,” he said.
He added that the theft is being investigated under Section 394 of the Penal Code for voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery.
When asked whether 999 is still the best number to call during emergencies, Rashid said yes but advised members of the public to save the numbers of state Bilik Gerakan just in case.
The Bilik Gerakan numbers by state are as follows: Selangor 03-5514 5203, Kuala Lumpur 03-2146 0585, Melaka 06-2851999, Negeri Sembilan 06-7619999, Johor 07-2212999, Perak 05-2401999, Penang 04-2691999, Kedah 04-7392999, Perlis 04-9711999, Terengganu 09-6270499, Kelantan 09-7450999, Pahang 09-5151999, Sabah 088-318555, Sarawak 082-240800, Labuan 087-412575.