Thieves make off with handbag when wedding guest goes to washroom

IPOH - A couple travelled from Singapore to attend a friend's wedding but the occasion proved to be unforgettable in more ways than one.

An office worker who only wanted to be known as Ong and her Singaporean boyfriend lost about RM10,000 worth of cash and valuables when she left her handbag unattended during the wedding dinner at a restaurant here on Sept 21.

Ong, in her 20s, left her handbag on her seat when she went to the washroom at around 7.40pm. When she returned to her seat, she found her handbag missing.

She then sought help from the restaurant's staff to view the closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera footage. The footage showed three suspicious-looking men entering the restaurant.

"They made their move when I left for the washroom. One of them hid the handbag under a jacket while making their escape," she said, adding that she then notified her banks of the theft.

"It was then that I learnt that the thieves had used my credit cards within an hour of the incident."

As the credit cards belonging to Ong's boyfriend were also in her handbag, he received a call from his bank querying whether he had used his credit card at the Kinta City Shopping Centre.

Ong rushed to the shopping centre to catch the thieves with the help of the police, Ipoh Garden East Rukun Tetangga, Rela and the shopping centre's security guard, but the culprits had fled.

Later, they retrieved the handbag at the parking lot of a shopping mall here with Ong's identity card, international passport and other important documents inside it.

"By the time our credit cards were deactivated, the culprits had already spent about RM5,000," she said.

A police officer confirmed that the couple had lodged a report on the incident.

"Based on the CCTV footage, we have identified the suspects and are carrying out investigations," he said.