01 August 2005

Keris heist at museum

KUALA LUMPUR: Claiming to be the legendary Malay warrior Hang Jebat, a man smashed a glass cabinet at the National Museum and escaped with an 18th century dagger on Tuesday.

The 35-year-old suspect, broke into a silat stance when approached by a security guard and threatened to slash him with the 98.5cm 'Keris Bali'.

The guard backed down and the suspect drove off in a lorry.

The suspect, however, was arrested four hours later and the dagger recovered.

Brickfields police chief Assistant Commissioner Mohd Dzuraidi Ibrahim said the suspect is a schizophrenic who has been receiving treatment since 1988 at Seremban Hospital.

The self-employed was yesterday remanded for four days to facilitate investigations.

The drama unfolded about 1.30pm on Tuesday when the suspect went to the weapons gallery on the second floor of the building and tried to smash the glass cabinet by punching it.

After several failed attempts, he finally broke the cabinet with a flying kick.

All this drama was recorded on CCTV.

He then took the dagger and walked towards the back of the museum.

At this juncture a security guard spotted him and caught up with him at the car park and that was when the man broke into a silat stance.

He warned the guard that he was Hang Jebat and that the dagger belonged to him.

He then cooly got into his lorry and drove away after waving to the guard.

Dzuraidi said police found the suspect at his home in Kampung Rinching Hilir, Bangi, later that day.

He was at home with his wife and month-old baby.

The dagger was found in a cupboard in one of the rooms.

The dagger with a sinewy blade is from Bali.

It has figurines of Hindu deities on its hilt and is said to be a ceremonial dagger.

The dagger was sold to the museum by a private collector for RM18,000, five years ago.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-135067780/keris-heist-museum.html

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