Alleged Motorbike Robbery Ends With a Deadly Beating

An angry mob beat a suspected motorbike thief to death after a robbery in Toul Tumpong II com­mune, the third such incident in two months in Phnom Penh, police said Sunday.

The man, identified by police only as Moa, was one of three bandits who used a motorbike to chase down their victim, said Chamkar Mon district Deputy Police Chief Lok Loan.

One of the robbers first pulled a gun on the victim, then pistol-whipped him, drawing blood and knocking him off his new 2001 Yamaha motorbike, Lok Loan said.

Moa and an accomplice at­tempted to flee on the new motorbike, Lok Loan said, while the third robber rode off alone. They apparently dropped their gun at the crime scene, where police recovered it.

As the two thieves on the stolen motorbike were driving off the scene, the victim, accompanied by an angry mob, caught up with them.

They then pulled Moa from the back of the bike. The mob beat him with their hands, feet, and stones, Lok Loan said.

“The police could not stop them,” he said

Friday’s beating death was the latest in a string of vigilante attacks, Lok Loan said.

“During the last two months there have been three robbers killed by mobs. Local policemen cannot stop [the mobs] because very often the robbers steal many bikes from the people of Phnom Penh, and they are very angry with the robberies,” he said.

Late last month a mob beat to death two 20-year-old men suspected of stealing a motorbike in Russei Keo district.

Military police arrested one suspected thief in that incident, but another managed to escape. A third man was arrested on suspicion of being the prospective buyer of the stolen bikes.

Police Chief Ly Lay of Russei Keo district said those three suspects belonged to a robbery ring that had so far netted some 70 bikes.

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