The police arrested a 20-year-old man from mainland China after a series of tourist robberies in the surrounding area of the city’s most emblematic tourist landmark, the Ruins of Saint Paul’s, the Public Security Police Force (PSP) informed yesterday at a press conference.
The man was initially spotted by officers on patrol in the area on Saturday, when they noticed his suspicious behavior. The officers recall the suspect carefully observing tourists as they moved in and out of local shops.
The PSP officers then decided to follow him from a distance and eventually caught him red-
handed stealing a wallet from a tourist who was shopping in one of the stores.
When he noticed that the officers were following him, the man tried to escape, disposing of a bag that he was carrying in the attempt. He then resisted the arrest – and consequently injured one of the officers – before he was finally detained.
The police found in the suspect’s wallet, among other possessions, the equivalent of MOP6,848, denominated in three different currencies (TWD, HKD and RMB).
Upon searching the bag that the suspect had hastily disposed of, the police discovered a mobile phone that the man later admitted to have stolen from another, unidentified victim.
A third victim of the same man was then confirmed via a complaint presented at a police station. The man presenting the complaint, who came from Hong Kong, recalled a similar account to that the officers had observed with the suspect.
Taken into custody, the suspected admitted to all the three thefts and was present yesterday at the Public Prosecutions Office (MP), where he was charged for the crimes of theft and resisting arrest.
In an unrelated case also reported yesterday, a woman was the victim of a violent attempted robbery.
The incident occurred about midnight on Sunday at the pedestrian bridge that leads to the entrance of The Venetian Macao resort. The woman recalled sitting on the stairs speaking to a friend on her mobile phone when a man passed by and threw a soft drink can at her.
The victim said she thought the man was drunk and did nothing besides looking at him. However, the act was merely a distraction to avert her attention while a second suspect attacked her from behind and attempted to steal her handbag.
Her resistance was met with a physical assault from the two men, with one kicking her in the neck while the other punched her in the face.
The assailants eventually ran off – without her bag in their possession – after the victim started to call for help. She required and received treatment at the hospital for her injuries.
The PJ is still investigating the case.
Currency exchange scams see more victims
The Judiciary Police (PJ) has informed that currency exchange scams continue to have a high incidence rate in Macau, with several cases reported over the weekend.
In one of the highlighted cases presented at the press conference yesterday, a man from mainland China claimed to have lost a total of HKD750,000 when on August 17 he was approached by another man offering to convert the funds into RMB.
The 30-year-old suspect, also from mainland China, called the victim and arranged a meeting in a hotel room he was renting.
The victim, accompanied by some of his friends, went to the venue to meet the suspect. While they were waiting for the exchange, the suspect suddenly put the cash in the room’s safe box and left.
Suspecting a scam, the victim called the police and stayed inside the hotel room.
Before the police arrived, the suspect called the victim and asked to meet him at the hotel lobby. The victim sent his friend who intercepted the suspect and held him until the arrival of the police.
In a separate case on August 16, a gambler from the mainland offered to exchange another mainlander’s RMB52,500 into HKD60,000. The victim then transferred the money to the suspect’s bank account electronically using his mobile phone.
The suspect said that he did not have in his possession the device needed to transfer the HKD and asked the victim to wait for him while he retrieved it.
Upon the suspect’s disappearance, the victim filed a complaint with the PJ. The next day the suspect was intercepted while trying to leave the territory.