KLANG: Four men suspected of committing multiple robberies and vehicle hijackings were caught red-handed with a stolen multi-purpose vehicle after police fired gunshots in a morning chase at Taman Sentosa here.
The robbers rammed into a police officer and several cars parked by the roadside before the cops opened fire at them during the 6.30am incident yesterday.
South Klang OCPD ACP Kamarul Zaman Mama said two police teams on patrol at Jalan Dato Dagang 12 here spotted a stolen black Toyota Estima and tried to arrest the five men in the vehicle but the driver sped off.
Police gave chase until Jalan Dato Dagang 7 before the vehicle rammed into a police officer and several cars parked by the roadside.
"We had no choice but to fire several shots at them," he said at the scene.
One of the suspects, who was injured in the gunfire, managed to flee, running into the residential area.
The injured officer was rushed to the hospital for treatment and was reported to be in stable condition.
ACP Kamarul said police had been on high alert for the notorious group, which was suspected of being responsible for several armed robberies the night before.
Initial investigations showed that the same group of men slashed the hands of a woman after robbing her near an apartment in Bandar Parkland here at about 9pm on Friday.
They then went to Kampung Jawa and hijacked a Toyota Vellfire at about midnight after robbing the driver and dragging him out of his car, he said.
"The group made a U-turn and rammed into the victim, who has been hospitalised," ACP Kamarul said. The Vellfire was found abandoned in Section 13, Shah Alam.
ACP Kamarul Zaman said the group went to Selayang in a Mazda CX5 that was reported stolen last week.
There, the robbers hijacked the Toyota Estima that they used to get to Klang, where they were believed to be scouting for new targets.
"Two of the suspects have records for robberies and we found three parang inside the Toyota Estima. We suspect that the group has been active for the past three months, and became more aggressive of late, attacking their victims viciously," he said.
Police are investigating if there are more members in the group and have launched a manhunt for the escaped accomplice.
"We urge clinics and hospitals to alert the police if they come across anyone with gunshot wounds on the right side of his body," he said.