SEPANG - Every weekend, four friends from Penang would make the four-hour trip to the Klang Valley here for some "retail therapy" - shoplifting and stealing from store owners in malls.
Their spree came to an end after the police arrested the mastermind while he was prowling at the new IOI City Mall and detained another man at a budget hotel in Taman Segar, Cheras.
Authorities are now hot on the heels of the other two suspects, who fled the hotel during a raid.
Sepang OCPD Asst Comm Mohd Yusof Awang said the four, who had 11 cases of burglary among them, would drive down every weekend and stay in budget hotels before visiting the malls.
He said one of the men would first enter a shop and distract the owner by peppering him with questions about the products while the other three walked in and swiped the gadgets and other valuables.
Among the malls the arrested gang members confessed to have hit were IOI City Mall, Mid Valley, Alamanda Putrajaya and even KL International Airport.
"They would then take all their loot back to Penang and sell it off. We do not know why they chose the Klang Valley. Maybe they would be recognised if they did it in Penang," he said, adding that the gang had been active for about a year.
ACP Mohd Yusof said officers, acting on intelligence, arrested a 41-year-old man at the parking lot of the IOI City Mall on Jan 8 and confiscated his Volkswagen Passat, where a cache of stolen smartphones and tablets were hidden.
"The man later led us to the budget hotel where we arrested his 34-year-old accomplice."
The two men have since been sentenced by the Sepang magistrate's court to a month's jail and fined RM15,000 (S$5,500).
Police are now looking for Lino Choong Jit Lin (840207-07-5213) and Lim Kooi Seong (870819-07-5123), both from Ayer Hitam.