Victims of snatch thefts look over shoulder years later

Malaysians have been assured over again that the crime rates in the country is decreasing.

What happens to victims years after the experience?

Do they carry on normally with life, or do they carry the burden of being entrapped by fears from the past which cripple their daily lives?

Citizen Journalists Malaysia (CJMY) speaks to crime victims on their experiences and lives after.

Anthony ‘s story

Anthony Wong

Anthony Wong Chiang Huat, 60, a property management officer in Penang had the fright of his life two years ago when two ‘parangs’ were held at his neck.

Fortunately he was only slightly injured but left badly shaken.

“I was coming out of Hong Leong bank in Prai after having deposited cash from my company.

“I had only RM48 in my wallet  which I put in my pocket and I was carrying a small hand-held bag.

“I drove to a flat in Jalan Tenggiri near the bank, and as I alighted, I noticed 3 foreigners standing beside a white Perdana.

“Suddenly one of them rushed over to me and grabbed me,” he said.

Anthony struggled with the thief and sat on him feeling almost triumphant that he managed to over-power the perpetrator. He suddenly felt two ‘parangs’ on his neck and a fear gripped him as he felt his life was over.

“They laid down the parang and searched my whole body instead especially the pockets on my trousers roughly that it tore,” he reminisced.

As Anthony only had RM48 in his wallet, that was all the robbers managed to get. They also took his hand-held bag which only contain documents.

“I only had scratches here and there and went to the hospital for some out patient treatment.”

When Anthony was asked how he felt after this experience, he said his experience had taught him to be more conscious of people around him, especially after he goes to a bank.

Up till today, Anthony constantly looks over his shoulders when in public places.

Four-time victim

Clerk Jacinta Joseph, 60, from Penang told CJMY that she had the misfortune of being robbed four times.

She related her worst incident which happened about four years ago, in front of her apartment in Lengkok Mahsuri, Penang.

“After getting down from the bus at 7.30pm, I had to walk through a dark lane to my apartment block.

“I was carrying two sling bags on my right  shoulder as a bike drove past me slowly.

“I saw the bike moving ahead and thought nothing of it but all of a sudden, he made a U-turn came near me and pulled at one of my bag.

“Since I have two bags on the same shoulder as he pulled one of the bag, the straps of the two bags got entangled.

“As the man on the bike pulled hard at my bag, I fell,” she recollected.

The snatch-thief then dragged Jacinta a few meters until he got hold of her bag. She was lying by the road when he returned to grab her other bag and sped off.

Some passers-by from the near-by flat tried to help and offer to take her to the hospital but she continued to feel pain days later and found out later that she has a hairline fracture on her hip.

“For a month I had to use crutches and this was not at all easy.

In a separate attack, Jacinta’s losses were more than personal items. A young boy pretended to sit beside her but afer one minute, suddenly grabbed her handbag and ran.

“The horror came when I found that my bank account had been emptied,” she said with obvious pain.

Having experienced two incidents of being robbed by passing bikes, Jacinta jumps at the mere sound of motorbikes.

She eyes every passing bikes with suspicion and moves away from the road.

She now only walk facing the traffic and whenever possible, walk on the pavement instead of on the side of the road.

Jacinta feels that the fear of getting robbed while walking on the road, is most certainly on many people’s minds, especially ladies with handbags.

” It is an infringement on my rights to feel safe walking in public.

“I am angry that crimes like these continue till today and has curtailed my freedom, she said.