Police are advising the public to be cautious as armed robberies in the Greater Jakarta area could increase ahead of the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in mid-July.
Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said on Friday that there were seven reported robberies in the past week alone, with the targets ranging from minimarts to bank customers carrying large amounts of cash.
“If you look at what’s been happening lately, there is a rising trend,” he said.
He added that a recent operation by police had netted 20 firearms from suspected criminals. He did not say what cases, if any, they were linked to.
The capital has been gripped by a series of minimart heists since the start of the year, with police saying earlier this week that there had been at least 32 such incidents in the Greater Jakarta area through the middle of June.
Police said they were now investigating another case, which occurred in Depok early on Monday morning. A group of robbers is reported to have broken into the closed store, cracked the safe and made off with Rp 23 million ($2,400) in cash. They also took the minimart’s CCTV equipment. Police are still questioning witnesses.
Also on Monday, robbers held up two 24-hour minimarts in East Jakarta. In both incidents, which occurred within two hours of each other, one of the perpetrators carried a firearm while the accomplices had knives.
Despite some similarities between the two heists, the police are still unsure if they were carried out by the same gang.
Police are also investigating the armed robbery of two men as they headed to a bank in Bekasi to deposit Rp 300 million in cash on Monday afternoon.
Comr. Taufik Hidayat, the Bekasi Police’s chief of detectives, said the incident occurred outside the Rawalumbu branch of Bank Mandiri.
He said the victims were about to deposit the daily receipts from a local gas station.