Armed Robbers Make Off With Cash and Jewelry

Two armed men beat a gas station owner bloody before fleeing with more than $1,500 in cash and jewelry in Ratanakkiri’s Banlung City on Sunday evening, police officials said on Monday.

Provincial police chief Ly Nuon Koeun said that the brazen heist was carried out in just three minutes by two masked gunmen, who arrived on a motorbike at around 6 p.m. bearing an ax and gun.

“The gunmen took only three minutes to rob the gas station owners of 2 million riel [about $500] and take their gold jewelry—a necklace, earrings and bracelet—which cost more than $1,000,” Brigadier General Koeun said.

While the wife, mother and child of Meakh Sovanarith, 35, managed to flee, the owner himself was forced to the ground by the two thieves, who proceeded to strike him eight times on the back with the blunt side of the ax blade, Banlung City police chief Huot Borey said.

Footage of the robbery recorded by the station’s security cameras and posted to the website of the Kampuchea Thmey Daily newspaper shows customers arriving during the in-progress crime before quickly fleeing upon realizing what was happening. In the video, one of the men appears to be armed with a small sub-machine gun.

“They acted very quickly to threaten the victims at the gas station without scaring other customers, who went to buy gasoline for their motorbikes,” Mr. Borey said.

“We are cooperating with provincial police and Banlung City military police to find both gunmen, who were wearing masks and wore caps.”

Seperately, police in Phnom Penh’s Chamkar Mon district said a woman had $1,000 taken from her on Sunday after being accosted by four armed men on two motorbikes near the Phnom Penh Sports Club at around 3:30 p.m.

“They stole the victim’s purse—which contained $1,000—at gunpoint and before leaving, they fired one warning shot into the air,” said deputy district police chief Heang Tharet, who added that the suspects remained at large.

soenthrith@cambodiadaily.com

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