KUALA LUMPUR: More CCTV cameras are needed in snatch theft-prone areas along with barricades separating roads and sidewalks, said Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.
The Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation vice-chairman said local authorities, including the police, must take proactive steps in combating the crime.
â€œInstall more CCTVs in snatch theft-prone areas and provide makeshift barriers to separate pedestrian walkways from the streets.
â€œThieves on motorcycles ride very near to their victims before snatching their belongings and speeding off.
â€œThis can be prevented by installing the barricades,â€ he said when contacted yesterday.
Lee was commenting on an incident where a 20-year-old law student was injured after an attempted snatch theft at Jalan Tun SamÂbanthan recently.
While recognising efforts by the police to fight snatch thefts, Lee said more needed to be done to prevent such incidents in the future.
â€œPolice should utilise more resources at their disposal in the war against snatch thieves.
â€œOne effective way to deal with snatch thieves is to deploy more detectives and plainclothes policemen in crime-prone areas,â€ he noted.
Lee added that Malaysians had suffered too long from snatch thefts and roadside robberies, especially women.
â€œThe majority of snatch theft victims are women. Itâ€™s a subject they talk about in meetings and over lunches and dinners.
â€œThe trauma of snatch theft is felt by its many female victims, particularly incidents which have brought about fatal injuries,â€ he said.
On Friday, the private college student was waiting for a taxi when two men riding a motorcycle approached her near a church.
The men then tried to snatch the victimâ€™s handbag but failed, causing her to trip and hit her head on the pavement.
The victim thought the duo fled after their failed attempt but suddenly, another suspect on a motorcycle appeared and grabbed her mobile phone, which was in her hand at the time, before escaping.
Dang Wangi OCPD Asst Comm Zainol Samah said police were still investigating whether the number plates of the motorcycles were fake.
â€œWe are still in the midst of identifying the assailants,â€ he said.