Police are searching for a taxi driver and three accomplices who allegedly robbed two female passengers in South Jakarta on Saturday night.
Sr. Comr. Rikwanto, the Jakarta Police spokesman, said on Monday that the victims, Michelle Widyawati, 24, and her mother, Erna, reported being robbed soon after boarding a Primajasa taxi from Pondok Indah Mall at 10 p.m. on Saturday.
“On the way to the victims’ home, the driver stopped the taxi on the pretext that he had to scratch his itchy foot,” he said.
“That’s when three other men suddenly jumped into the taxi.”
Rikwanto said the men took the women’s belongings while the driver continued to drive. The women reported losing three cellphones, two watches, two rings and a pair of earrings. The thieves also drove them to an ATM, where they forced the women to withdraw Rp 13.7 million.
Rikwanto said that after getting the cash, the men continued driving around South Jakarta before dumping the women in Cilandak.
“We’re still questioning the victims to find out exactly what happened, including to what extent the driver was involved and whether they were threatened with weapons,” the spokesman said.
“We can confirm that the taxi was a Primajasa. We’ll question the Primajasa dispatch office to find out which of their cars and drivers were operating in the [Pondok Indah] area at the time.”
Rikwanto called on the public to stay alert at all times when using public transportation, including taxis.
“Make sure it’s a legitimate taxi before you get in. Look for the driver ID card, the taxi number, the license plate number and whether the driver is wearing a uniform. All taxis in Jakarta are required to clearly post the driver’s identity card,” he said.