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Pupil sleeps through KK carjacking bid

Published on: Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: An eight-year-old was found safe in Asia City, here, less than two hours after someone hijacked the Toyota Vios vehicle he was asleep in.

Darren Chiang was left in the vehicle with its engine running by his 42-year-old mother, Janet Chong, who went to buy bread from a vendor located some 24 feet from where the Vios was parked in the compound of SRJK Chung Hwa Likas at 6.05am.

When she returned moments later, the vehicle with her son inside was missing, prompting her to alert her husband and lodge a report at the Karamunsing Police Station at about 6.15am.

The vehicle was recovered at 7.25am with the boy still asleep in the rear seat.

"I do not know who did this, my family and I do not have any enemies, but I suspect it could be the work of small-time car thieves," said her husband, Robert Chiang.

Chiang said their Samsung handphone worth RM1,000, bank books and a purse with RM400 inside were missing from the vehicle.

Chiang said he immediately alerted his cycling friend, Reserve Police Acting Commandant ASP Paul Lajumin, when he got the call from his wife.

"I sent him a message via WhatsApp, alerting him that my son was asleep in the vehicle described," he said.

Lajumin received the message while he and three cycling friends were near the Segama traffic light junction. "The moment I received it, my friends and I cycled to the police station to get further information," said Lajumin, who also forwarded the message to friends and relatives.

The message went viral via WhatsApp, after concerned residents began circulating the message to friends and relatives.

After gathering information, they cycled around the city and chanced upon the vehicle which was nicely parked near a seafood restaurant at Asia City.

At that very moment, Chiang also arrived at the spot after receiving a call from an unknown woman who alerted him after she noticed that the vehicle was the exact "hijacked" vehicle described in the message circulated via WhatsApp.

Deputy City Police Chief Supt M. Chandra said the case is being probed under Section 379A of the Penal Code for theft of a motor vehicle and Section 363 of the Penal Code for kidnapping.

It was learnt that no arrest had been made as at press time.

State Education Director Datuk Jame Alip reminded parents never to leave their children in the vehicle unattended.

"Parents should not be negligent, their children's safety must be a priority," said Jame, who came to the school immediately after being alerted. He also reminded schools against allowing unknown persons into their compounds.

"I noticed that anyone could easily come into school premises without being questioned and this should stop because our children's security must be top priority," he said.

Together with him was KKCCI Education Bureau cum SJKC Chung Hwa Likas School Board Deputy Governor Albert Kok.