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Friday, February 27, 2009

Watch it, you could lose your pants

Azuan: Wallet was stolen while he was in toiletNeccessity, it is said, is the mother of invention: And both can come into play in the city's public toilets where inventive pickpockets could make off with your pants when you answer nature's call.

Malay Mail has learnt that thieves have been targeting shoppers especially at the toilets of Kuala Lumpur’s shopping malls.

While the victims are naturally preoccupied, these thieves would be in the adjacent cubicle — acting quickly to pick the pants’ pockets or, in some cases, running off with the trousers altogether.

“We suspect that these individuals would remove the original hooks placed at the door and install their own hooks in positions at either the sides or the back of the victim,” said a security guard at a popular shopping mall

MCA Public Services and Complaints Department Head Datuk Michael Chong yesterday highlighted a recent case where Ogawa salesman Wong Wei Chiat, 23, from Cheras was in the first floor toilet of BB Plaza, along Jalan Bukit Bintang, when his pants were picked late last year.

REENACTMENT: This is how the pickpocket would strike at a public toilet“When I was done, I noticed my pockets seemed lighter as I was leaving the toilet,” said Wong, adding that he lost his identity card, RM50 and various credit cards kept in the wallet.

He later learnt that the thieves had then used his Eon Bank Gold Mastercard to purchase a RM2,400 watch in Masjid India.

“When I lodged a police report, I was informed that I was lucky to still have my pants as mine wasn’t the first such case reported to the police,” said Wong.

Feeling frustrated and helpless, he returned to the toilet and removed the hooks, but found that new ones had been fitted some time later.

Chong advised: “Be aware the next time you go to toilet or where you place your trousers. If you’re afraid, try not to take it off at all. Police should be investigating this. Shopping complexes should also beef up security.”

Another victim said he lost his wallet just a week ago, but was lucky as nothing valuable was stolen.

Taxi counter salesman at BB Plaza, Azuan Arif Alias, 35, said: “When I was in the cubicle, my wallet disappeared.

“I found it dumped at a corner a few days later.”

A businessman actually lost his pants two years ago. He had to wait for one of his workers to bring another pair before he could leave the toilet.

A spokesperson from the BB Plaza management said they received no reports concerning such cases but were aware of them happening in shopping centres.

Police, unable to confirm the frequency of such types of crimes at Press Time, said there were similar reports made at the Dang Wangi police district.


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