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I thought I’d finally vent my frustration here about this incident 2 months ago (March 17th to be exact).

My wife picked me up from work, and we decided to go have dinner. After dinner we went to Puri Indah Mal, and parked near where we usually
park. Since I usually drive myself, and that night was picked up by my wife instead, I didn’t remember to carry my laptop bag with me and left
it on the rear seat. We got there around 8.15PM and went to Ace Hardware to get some stuff. When we got back at around 8.50PM (around
40 minutes later), my wife found out that the rear window of her car has been smashed to pieces, and my laptop stolen.

Of course, for some reason, the security patrols who usually are there in abundance, weren’t there at the time of incident. I had to walk for 5 minutes to find the closest security guard, who proceeded to call more of his friends. To make a long story short, the parking lot was monitored by Secure Parking, who outsourced their guards to some group called Sigap, and neither of which could explain nor would be held responsible for what happened.

The loss of my laptop and broken car window wasn’t really my main source of frustration (I know I was reckless in leaving valuable stuff there). But how things proceeded were the mind boggling ones. Here’s what happened:
- I tried to get CCTV recordings from the security, who said that the guy who could access the files already went home, and it had to be done the next day since they had to get a manager in. (Hello, this happened in the last 30 minutes, if you can catch the person’s face, it’d be easier to catch them sooner).
- An entire squadron of security guards, Secure Parking people and others just stood around, with nobody knowing how to proceed and what’s the next step. My wife had to call her brother who had some connections with the police before anything got sorted out.
- After the police came, they started looking around, and nobody was allowed to touch the car because they thought fingerprints of the thief
might still be there.
- The parking attendant had the number of the car next to us, which was the main suspect according to the police.
- At nearly midnight, the car was at the police station, some police officer went to get the CCTV recordings, and up until then I sensed no
urgency from ANYBODY, not even the police. It’s as if, it’s just a regular occurrence and they needed the money they were sure to get from
us for helping us by showing up at the crime scene. And that part about not touching the car, well that didn’t help because nobody dusted for
fingerprints or did any kind of forensic stuff whatsoever on the car.
- The next day, we find out that the CCTV camera actually caught the burglar on tape (turned out to be the car parked next to us).
- They even tried to charge me for parking during my way out with my wife’s car and broken window (I had the ticket signed by the head attendant, reading “Parking Free”). I had to talk to this guy, and explain to him that “the damn window of my car is broken, my laptop is stolen, my ticket says free parking, and you still want to charge me for parking ??!#@?$?”.

Well, imagine this happening in Canada: – burglar’s face caught on camera and – plate number recorded by attendant so the
police know it, and no arrests made, no communications from the police, and nothing whatsoever from the Secure Parking nor mall people?
Pretty unthinkable even for the dumbest of authorities wouldn’t you think? But here in Indonesia, that’s apparently just the norm.

I’m pretty much over the laptop lost part, but the idiocy, inefficiency and mind-bogglingly useless police force, parking attendants (might as well change the name to “Insecure Parking”) and security guards still remains a pain in the butt for me. My guess, and what many people have told me, is that the police, guards and those people at the parking lot are pretty much involved with the thieves and robbers anyway, and won’t bother arresting one of their own kind if they get some sort of bribe. I’ve talked to some tenants at Puri Indah Mall, and I’ve been told also that stolen laptops are a quite common occurrence there, more so than any other mall. Just another day in corrupt country where police and thief are one and the same.

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2 Responses to “”

  1. Dave
    April 7th, 2009 | 10:12 am

    That is one of the reason why I moved back to Canada :)
    I was just like you. Moved back to Indo in ’03 We stayed there for 5 years and during that 5 years we don’t feel safe at all. Me missed that “safe” feeling. Plus “banjir” all the time :) Oh and I hate corrupt government officials :). So enough is enough.. we decided to move back to Canada.

    Anyway, good luck to you and your family.

  2. JamesD
    June 11th, 2009 | 11:09 pm

    Thanks for the useful info. It’s so interesting

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