Phnom Penh Police Kill 3 Suspected Thieves

Police shot dead three suspected robbers early Thursday morning in Phnom Penh’s Chamkar Mon district when they and a surviving accomplice tried to steal a former soldier’s motorbike, police said Thursday.

Long Ravy, 30, Hang Chhuon, 28, and men identified as Ra, 28, and Vorn, 29, exchanged fire with po­lice on street 105 in Boeng Keng Kong II commune, said Mu­nici­pal Penal Police Chief Reach Sokhon.

The men tried to steal the bike of Prak Van Nang, 51, at gunpoint as he transported trash from his house to a collection bin on Street 105, police and witnesses said.

Police saw the exchange and shot to warn the robbers, witnesses said. The men shot back, but their weapons failed and they tried to flee, said Prum Meach, 47, a mechanic on Street 105, who witnessed the incident.

Ra was killed at the site of the robbery. Vorn was critically in­jured and died at hospital. Police shot Long Ravy on Street 122 in Tuol Kok district after chas­ing him as he fled on his motorbike.

Hang Chhuon hid inside a near­by house. Police spent four hours trying to coax him outside, said Cheng Muy, 24, a newsstand vendor who watched the standoff.

At the Municipal Police office, Hang Chhuon confessed that he was part of a gang of 17 thieves who had committed 80 robberies since moving to the capital from Svay Rieng province in 2003.

It was the second fatal shooting this month of suspected thieves by police. On July 16, two alleged car thieves died in what witnesses described as execution-style shooting by plainclothes policemen.

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