January 12, 2017
KOTA KINABALU: The hawkers at Lido Square Market, off Penampang road here has carried out a citizen arrest when they nabbed a suspected gas cylinder’s thief yesterday. The suspect was apprehended by one of the victims who discovered his gas cylinder missing while preparing to set up his seafood noodle stall at the market before the lunch hour.
The victim told the New Sabah Times reporter who was at the scene during the incident that the suspect who was later caught wearing a baseball cap and carrying a rucksack with an iron cutter and some tools as well as an underwear inside walked into the house on the pretence to help his boss to carry the gas cylinder over to the food court.
It is well-known that some of the hawker stall operators at Lido Square kept their kitchen utensils, cooking stoves and gas cylinders at Taman Che Mei, which is a row of single terrace houses next to the market as some house owners provided rental space for them to keep their belongings.
“So as usual, every day before lunchtime I will get ready to set up my stall. But, today I felt a bit strange because the suspect who is a complete stranger claimed he is a worker to one of the hawkers who also kept his belongings at the same house.
“I greeted him and curiously asked why he came early today, the suspect told me his boss wanted to open for business early today (yesterday).
“And since he appeared a bit suspicious, I queried him further and it seems that he managed to give me the correct answer which I believe he got it right by chance especially when he admitted he also came from the same hometown as his boss in Tawau,” recalled the victim.
“So, he managed to convince me into believing that he is one of the workers. And while I was busy organising my things, he lifted two gas cylinders including mine onto a trolley which I later found out he got it from one of the stalls in the food court.
“And without realising his deceptive move, I continue to arrange my things and soon the suspect disappeared and carted away the gas cylinders,” said the victim.
However, the suspect was later spotted still loitering around the Lido shops with some friends, the victim who recognised the suspect managed to nail him. Later, few of the stall operators claimed that their gas cylinders were also missing a few days ago. The suspect was later handed over to the police for further investigation.