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Saturday, 20 December 2014

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The Myanmar Times

Theft in Bago mounts vigilante patrols

Residents have taken to the streets of a township in Bago Region in a bid to deter thieves after a spate of house burglaries.

Since mid-September, thefts and burglaries have been rampant at Kanyut-kwin in Phyu township, causing residents to mount volunteer night patrols to protect their property.

“Southern and northern Kanyut-kwin have experienced continuous thefts in recent days. We have now formed groups ward by ward to patrol our properties every night. This is interfering with our daytime work,” said one resident on October 23.

“Twelve houses in southern and two houses in northern Kanyut-kwin have been broken into, but property was taken in only five cases. We caught two thieves, but a third is still at large. And one of the ones we caught has escaped from the hospital,” he said.

U Soe Win, the ward administrator of northern Kanyut-kwin, said: “One night I saw a stranger in our ward. When I followed him I noted his physical appearance by the light at the entry of a monastery.”

U Soe Win said the man shot at him with a catapult when challenged but missed. The next day the man was arrested by police, he said.

U Soe Win also described a case where a suspected thief was apprehended by members of the public near Kanyut-kwin bus stop after a failed attempt at burglary the previous night. The man was found to be in possession of a motorcycle, a mobile phone and K26,000 in cash. The man, who sustained injuries during the arrest, is now in hospital, he said.

Ko Lwin Oo, who lives in western Kanyut-kwin, said he had been robbed of gold jewellery worth about K2 million.

“We started guarding our house when we heard of the series of thefts in Kanyut-kwin. I slept in the cowshed and my wife slept at the grocery shop in front of our house. But we found the windows of our house had been forced. The clothes in the closet had been scattered, and money and gold jewellery kept among the clothes had gone. The thief had entered the house by forcing the window bolt,” he said.

“That same night, a tical of gold and some cash was stolen from another house in the same street,” said Ko Lwin Oo. “When we heard that someone had been arrested for the theft, we went to see him at the hospital.”

Police have arrested Mg Zaw, also known as Nga Me, who lives in Magyipin village, western Paenwekone, and detained him at Phyu township police station.

Another suspected thief, arrested with the help of residents in norther Kanyut-kwin, was being detained at the police station in Nyaungkone village, said U Soe Win.

“We're acting for the rule of law and the stability of our community,” said U Soe Win, adding that he had K1.5 million stolen from him last month.

Before it hit national headlines as a hotbed of thievery, Kanyut-kwin was most well-known for being the hometown of Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker Thura U Shwe Mann.

Translated by Zar Zar Soe

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