KUALA LUMPUR: WEARING a brunette wig and sunglasses, the couple would pose as customers at Kuchai Lama shops before robbing the outlets.
Dubbed the "Lai and Gan Gang" the knife-wielding couple had been terrorising Kuchai Lama traders since early this year and have been responsible for five robberies, including two in Kepong.
Their crime spree came to an end last Saturday after police arrested the couple.
Brickfields district police chief, ACP Wan Abd Bari Wan Abd Khalid said the crackdown on the gang took place after an Aug 26 incident when a 35-year-old trader was robbed at a baby-clothing shop at the Kuchai Entrepreneurs Park in Jalan Kuchai Lama.
"In the 4.30pm incident, the couple entered the shop on the pretext of buying baby clothes.
The male suspect told the victim he needed to go to the restroom while his companion continued walking around.
"When all the customers had left the shop, the man emerged from the toilet and held a knife to the trader, who was at that time standing with the male suspect's accomplice.
"The victim's hands were tied and she was taken to a small room behind the shop, believed to be the store. She was held captive there and was warned to be quiet," Wan Abd Bari said.
The couple proceeded to ransack the shop before fleeing with a laptop, handphones and RM1,000.
After managing to free herself, the trader lodged a police report.
In the course of investigations, CCTV footages were seized to analyse the incident. On Sept 15, police managed to track down the duo.
The 29-year-old woman was nabbed in Taman Segar, Cheras, while her accomplice was arrested in Sri Desa Entrepreneurs Park, in Jalan Kuchai Lama.
"We seized goods that were believed to be stolen including three laptops, two handbags, a computer, two credit cards, a wallet, a handphone, a wooden baton and a wig.
We also seized the suspects' silver Perodua Myvi," Wan Abd Bari said.
Some hours later, police arrested a 17-year-old boy at a handphone shop in Bukit Bintang, and a 23-year-old woman at a Cheras house who had bought and possessed stolen items from the suspects.
They were released on police bail and may face charges for buying and possessing stolen items.
Police said they believed "Lai and Gan" were opportunists who randomly targetted shops in Jalan Kuchai Lama.
Their style was to pose as customers before striking the trader, owner or sales assistants of the outlets when customers left.
The couple has since been in remand until yesterday and will be transferred to Sentul district police headquarters for further investigation.