Masked Man Eludes 200 Police Officers in Rice Field

More than 200 police officers surrounded a rice field in Phnom Penh’s Pur Senchey district for over six hours Thursday, looking for a suspected robber believed to be hiding there, police said.

However, after searching in vain until the end of the day, they gave up on finding the man and went home.

Theng Kosal, chief of police in Choam Chao commune, said that at about 10 a.m. Thursday, he was on patrol when he saw a man wearing a mask speed past on a motorbike and recognized the vehicle as one that had been used to commit a recent robbery.

“I asked him to stop, but he just continued driving, so I used a walkie-talkie to ask a district officer to chase him,” he said. “After a 10-minute chase, the suspect got off the bike and ran into a rice field. Then 200 of our police surrounded him.”

Police from both Pur Senchey and neighboring Dangkao district were mobilized for the search, he said.

But after 6 1/2 hours of searching, the officers still could not determine where the masked man was, and called it quits at about 5 p.m., he added.

“We can’t find him, so we will stop looking, but we’ll keep trying to find him [tomorrow],” Mr. Kosal said.

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