Jambret! Beware Jakarta’s Bag-Snatchers!

I’m moved to post this small reminder on personal security by the horrendous news from Bandung, where a beautiful young woman was killed, apparently due to a bag-snatch attack.

Fransisca Yofie (Facebook Photo)

Fransisca Yofie

The cops have arrested a number of people, some for selling things taken from the victim’s bag,  If they’re convicted, one hopes they’ll get ferocious punishment.

But nothing they may suffer will match the horror of Fransisca’s death.

Two other men, identified as Ade and his uncle Wawan, have been charged with killing Franceisca during the brutal robbery. The two men allegedly grabbed Franceisca by her hair, dragging the woman behind a motorbike for a half-kilometer before chopping her in the head with a machete and fleeing the scene, police said. http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/police-arrest-four-suspects-in-connection-with-grisly-bandung-murder/

But here’s where it gets good.

The men reportedly told police Franceisca’s death was an accident. The men were attempting to steal Franceisca’s purse when her hair became stuck in part of their motorbike.

An ACCIDENT? They were only accidentally engaged in robbery?


But most of you will be thinking along those lines. What I want to offer here is a reminder to those of you who may be contemplating a visit to Indonesia, or even if you’re new here.

I personally know two foreign ladies who have had their bags snatched by bikers here in Jakarta. Fortunately they didn’t put up much of a struggle, didn’t get a chance to, so were not injured, only suffering shock and, of course, loss of valued possessions.

If you are out walking, ALWAYS carry your bag on the shoulder furthest from the kerb.

  • Jambret
  • Bag-snatchers – known as jambret in Bahasa Indonesia – are opportunistic. They see an easy  prize and grab it.

Going up onto the pavement and manoevring around their victims presents a challenge which they will forego in hopes of finding easier prey.

I know I’m stating what is glaringly obvious, but on a sunny day, with unusual sights to see, it’s easy to neglect basic personal security.

Jakarta is probably a lot safer than many parts of London or LA, but…

Be alert at all times!