IPOH - Two armed robbers believed to be responsible for at least 15 robberies here and in Batu Gajah were killed in a shootout with police near the herbal park in Simpang Pulai.
Another robber escaped during the 3.30am drama yesterday and the hunt for the suspect has been mounted, said Perak police chief Senior Deputy Comm Datuk Osman Salleh.
The robbers, believed to be foreigners, were responsible for several break-ins in the wee hours of the morning.
They would tie up house occupants and rob them of cash and jewellery.
Federal and state CID officers were carrying out a crime prevention operation when they saw three men acting suspiciously while crossing a road at a housing estate near Jalan Gopeng.
Police ordered the three to stop, but they sprinted into the bushes nearby, SDCP Osman said at the state police headquarters here yesterday.
Police gave chase and saw them running towards an open space near the park.
As policemen closed in, one of the suspects opened fire.
The police officers returned fire in self-defence, SDCP Osman said.
Police are hunting for the fugitive using the aerial and K9 units.
The two dead suspects, aged between 30 and 40, have yet to be identified. Their bodies were sent to the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital.
Police found a gun, parang, crowbar, cutter, screwdriver, a pair of gloves, torchlight, ski mask, two handphones, a gold ring and five gold bangles on the dead robbers.
The robbers were believed to have carried out four armed robberies in Meru, Ipoh.
SDCP Osman said the crime prevention operation was carried out following reports of break-ins in the Ipoh and Batu Gajah districts.