STOMP it anytime, anywhere.
Download the new STOMP app today.
The Straits Times
Dec 4, 2023
They woke up fresh on Nov 30, expecting to head out of their villa and explore Bali’s offerings that day.
Instead, an extended Singaporean family of 12 found their four-bedroom villa in Canggu ransacked, and realised that they had lost about $3,000 worth of cash and items, including bags and wallets.
Closed-circuit television camera footage provided by Villa Kenza to the family showed a blurry figure jumping over the low wall that surrounded their villa. A motorcycle with its headlights off was seen passing by the villa several times on the same night, and a motorcycle was also seen leaving the villa. It was not clear if the footage showed the same motorcycle.
A member of the affected family claimed the thief entered the villa through a faulty sliding door, but the management claimed the door worked fine and the family had not locked the door for the night. The family has made a police report in Bali, with a copy seen by The Straits Times.
According to Mr Redha Indra, a 28-year-old tech professional, there were nine adults, including two elderly people, and three children on the trip to Bali, and they had booked the villa from Nov 25 to Dec 2.
On the morning of Nov 30, Mr Redha’s family woke up to find bags and pouches opened next to the dining area with missing contents.
He said: “It seems like the thief looked through the items in the dining area... The items were all from rooms and shelves, nowhere near the dining area.”
When inspecting the villa, they found that a sliding door next to the swimming pool within the villa could not be locked. Mr Redha said the family did not know about this before the alleged burglary, as the door was blocked by a few deck chairs by the pool.
In a video seen by ST, a pair of adjacent sliding doors – which led to the interior of the villa – could not be locked with a key, regardless of how the key was turned.
After viewing the CCTV footage, Mr Redha said the thief might have entered the villa through the sliding door after scaling the low wall near it.
“There was no dedicated security for the villa,” Mr Redha added. “The manager spoke to us only over the phone and did not even come to see us.”
However, in response to queries from ST, the villa’s management – Azure International Bali – said “the information about the doors and staff (provided by Mr Redha) is inaccurate”.
The company added that the sliding doors “were in perfect condition both before and after the guests’ departure”.
It alleged that “the doors were not locked by the guest at night”.
The company added that the theft was “an unfortunate event beyond our control and we are not engaging in a blame game”. It “cooperated fully by assisting the guest, reporting the incident to local authorities, and informing the insurance company”.
An employee of the villa accompanied the family to make a report to the local police on Nov 30.
The family moved out of the villa on the same day they discovered the burglary, despite having paid for two more nights’ stay.
“The theft happened when we were in the villa, asleep,” Mr Redha said.
“That makes it scarier as any of our children could have been abducted, or any of us could have been hurt if (the thief) had weapons.”
To avoid falling victim to crime overseas, security service firm International SOS’ regional security manager Bala Selvam suggests that “travellers should evaluate location-specific risks and verify that the accommodation has adequate fire protection, emergency protocols, backup power and essential security features like secure locks on doors, peepholes and safe boxes for valuables”.
“Beyond physical infrastructure, being equipped with the knowledge of how to respond to specific incidents significantly contributes to maintaining peace of mind for the traveller.”