GEORGE TOWN, MALAYSIA - A 15-year-old boy and a man followed a woman wearing a miniskirt into a public toilet at a bus station in Penang and groped her genitals after robbing her at knifepoint.
If not for the timely arrival of a cleaner, the 28-year-old victim could have been raped as the robbers had threatened to kill her if she made any noise while groping her.
She screamed when the cleaner entered the toilet and the two robbers ran away. The 15-year-old boy was caught by a security guard and beaten up before the police arrived.
The victim, who works with an express bus company, had entered the public toilet on the first floor of Komtar bus station at about 9.15pm on Saturday when the two dashed in and closed the door. One of them whipped out a knife and threatened her. They then took her handbag and started groping her genitals.
Security guard Zainol Mat Saad, who is the victim's colleague, said he waited under the escalator to catch the men after hearing her screams as that was the only way out.
"I caught the boy but his accomplice managed to flee," he said.
The victim lodged a report at the Patani Road police station. She lost her handbag containing a mobile phone, necklace and RM50.
The boy, who was bleeding from facial wounds, was sent to Penang Hospital for treatment.
Zainol said the victim told him that she decided to go to the toilet on the first floor because she saw a woman entering it.
"However, shortly after the woman left the toilet, the duo entered and closed the door before robbing her," he said.
Police believe the woman was part of the gang and her role was to lure other women to use that toilet as they would think it would be safer with another woman inside.
George Town OCPD Asst Comm Gan Kong Meng said the boy had been remanded for four days.
"We are looking for a man and woman to facilitate investigations," he said.
Police are investigating the case as attempted rape.
Komtar assemblyman Ng Wei Aik said he would propose to the Penang Development Corporation
(PDC) to install panic buttons at the toilets in Komtar.
"We have installed 50 closed-circuit television cameras in the building but it is
impossible for fix them near the toilets," he said.
The building is being managed by Komtar PDC Setia Urus and its chief executive officer Sabarul Aswadi Abdul Jalil said he would check if the CCTVs had captured the images of the two men.