Semarang. Central Java Police have arrested eight men suspected of belonging to two armed gangs that had stolen Rp 1.3 billion ($145,000) in cash and jewelry.
Chief Insp. Gen. Edward Aritonang said on Thursday that one gang favored jewelry when raiding elite residences, while the other targeted pharmacies.
They had been active in Tegal, Surakarta and Karang Anyar in Central Java, as well as Cirebon and Ciamis in West Java.
Edward said that the first group was known as the Medan Gang.
The suspects in custody are Ramlan Butar Butar, originally from Tanjung Priok in North Jakarta; Ridwan Pane, from Cimanggis in Depok; Agus Salim and Krisman Sitorus, both from Bekasi; and Robert Saragih, from Surakarta, Central Java.
“They are all repeat offenders. Aside from robbing luxury homes, they are known to use violence against their victims,” Edward said.
He identified the second group as the Solo Gang, whose members all come from Central Java.
They were identified as Handoko, of Sragen; Yuki Mahendra, from Sukohardjo; and Achmad Muhdiyanto, from Klaten.
“Each one of them is a cruel repeat offender,” Edward said.
Central Java spokesman Sr. Comr. Joko Erwanto said the Medan Gang was wanted over a string of robberies.
They included a Rp 25 million robbery at the home of Okky Wirawan, a resident of Jalan Salak in Tegal on Sept. 3 and a Rp 100 million robbery at the home of Paulus Liem Hoo Djiang in Manahan, Solo, on Sept. 19.
Joko said the same gang also robbed Rp 450 million from a home on Jalan Pegamburan Estate in Cirebon, as well as Rp 110 million from another residence on Jalan Prujakan.
“All of them were arrested in their hideout in Bekasi,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Solo Gang made off with Rp 30 million from the Popongan Pharmacy in Karang Anyar, Central Java, and also robbed several other pharmacies in and around Solo.
“The robbers were arrested at different places,” Joko said.