Jamal Taylor, 24, who hails from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, said the police here and SBA helped him get back his device from the 29-year-old suspect in less than 24 hours on July 30. He said both worked hard to trace the suspect's whereabouts and resolved the case.
"I am very pleased with the SBA committee members, including President Richie Lee and Vice-President Malcom Wong, who have used their networking and helped me all the way until we managed to locate the suspect and recovered my Tab.
"I fully commend the City Police here for their quick action and dedication of its Investigating Officer Inspector Kama to ensure the suspect did not leave Sabah after I lodged a police report.
"Inspector Kama brought me along to the Kota Kinabalu International Airport and sought cooperation from relevant authorities to detain the suspect if they encountered him at the counter. I am so touched and grateful with the police officer for taking such an effective measure to nab the suspect," he said.
Jamal, who is a blogger, said this in a press conference organised by SBA at Sadong Jaya, here, Tuesday. He said there was a closed circuit television (CCTV) footage that showed the Finland tourist took his Tab.
He realised it was missing when he woke up around 9am on July 30 as he had placed the device to be charged at a door near his room.
"I left my Tab to be charged at a socket near the door as there were not enough sockets in my room. I did look around for my missing Tab and asked the staff at the counter if they had seen it.
"But after looking at the CCTV footage and I recognised the suspect, I was told that he had checked out from the backpacker room at 3am and I immediately lodged a police report.
"With the help of Richie and Malcom and their association members through their WhatsApp networking, they located the suspect who checked in another backpacker facility in Tanjung Aru," he said.
Subsequently, Jamal said the police officer reached the scene and inspected the suspect which led to the recovery of the Tab at about 9pm the same day.
He said the suspect confidently claimed that he had bought the Tab from him (Jamal) for Euro150 but later failed to open the applications in the device which has Jamal's password.
"If it was true that I sold the device to the suspect, I challenged the suspect to open my Tab using my password which I should have given to him (suspect).
"Apparently, the suspect failed to open my Tab and the police officer brought him to the police station to be investigated," he said, adding that he was informed by the police that the suspect would be brought to court today (Wednesday).
Meanwhile, Richie thanked the SBA members for their assistance and cooperation to locate the suspect.
"We should continue to complement each other and help each other where we can, including on matters that concern our customers who are mostly foreign tourists.
"We also thank the police here for attending to Jamal's report on his stolen Tab and being able to resolve the case and recover the device on the same day," he said.