RAWANG: A family in New Green Park here endured a hellish night on Aug 5 when a violent home invasion left them not only poorer, but also family members severely injured.
The family of V. Thivyah were left at the mercy of three masked armed robbers, who apart from relieving the family of RM150,000 in valuables, also attacked her father, A. Veelurajan, 67, and left her elderly grandmother hospitalised.
On top of the physical and financial ordeal, the family were left in shock when their call to the 999 emergency number was allegedly answered with the response to call the district police’s bilik gerakan (operations room) next time.
The family claimed that the three robbers had driven past a police patrol car unhindered while making their getaway.
Thivyah, 33, a training consultant, said the home invasion occurred at 2.30am. Her sister had alerted her, saying that several men were trying to break into the house from the back.
Thivyah said at 2.37am, she rang the 999 hotline, seeking help. The operator passed her call through to the district police.
Thivyah said when the policemen came, they asked her why she didn’t call them directly, as the response would be swifter.
“I was stunned. Ask any regular person what’s the first number they would call during an emergency, and many would surely reply 999. That’s exactly what I did,” she said.
“If 999 isn’t the right number to call in these sort of emergencies, then it’s time the police and the relevant departments informed the public about it.”
She was on the phone with the police while the robbers were trying to make their way inside.
She said although the call was placed at 2.37am, the police only came at 3.30am. During that period, the three robbers managed to enter the home and attacked the family.
“They slashed my father with a parang and hit him with a stick. They also slapped my mother and aunt.
“They then dragged my grandmother, who is almost 90, across the floor. My sister and her baby were threatened with a parang.”
Thivyah said all she could do was to fall at their feet and beg for them not to hurt her family. The robbers sped off with her car after 45 minutes.
Her father, Veelurajan, claimed a police patrol car had arrived at 2.57am, about 20 minutes after their distress call to 999.
He said this was confirmed via CCTV footage taken from a neighbour’s house. The footage did not show the patrol car, but the reflection of a blue beacon was visible.
The CCTV footage, at 3.15am, also showed the family’s Volkswagen Polo being driven away in the direction of the beacon, which suggested that the robbers drove past the waiting police car.
Veelurajan said there was only one road coming in and out of where the house was located.
“The robbers were here for 45 minutes. Surely that is enough time for a patrol team to call for backup and block all roads leading out of the area.
“Later on, when I asked them why they didn’t do any of that, they said they couldn’t find my house,” claimed Veelurajan, who said there were only 18 houses along the street.
Veelurajan, a retired teacher, sustained three slash wounds, two on the head and another on his shoulder.
He said the family had lodged a police report not only on the incident, but also on the police’s alleged slow response.
Gombak police chief Assistant Commissioner Samsor Maarof said the case was being investigated under Section 394 of the Penal Code for voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery. Police, he said, were tracking down the suspects.
Selangor deputy police chief Datuk Ab Rashid Ab Wahab said police would probe claims that the patrol team was parked near the victim’s house for approximately 17 minutes until the robbers’ escape.
“We are investigating. If it is true, action will be taken against the patrol team,” he replied via a text message.
Inspector-General of Police Secretariat corporate communications head Datuk Asmawati Ahmad said police on duty at the Gombak police headquarters operation room received the call via MERS 999 at 2.40am.
“The victim, named Thivyah, made the call using a mobile phone.
“In the call, she said her house in Taman Green Park, Rawang, was broken into and her car was driven away by the suspects.
“Immediately after the call, a patrol team was deployed to the scene,” she said.