KUALA LUMPUR - Julie Lam thought she was pretty safe walking with several MCA members and Rela officers to a gotong-royong event at about 7am in Jalan Ampang.
However, her sense of security was short-lived though as she fell victim to snatch thieves.
"I felt a jerk on my right arm and saw two men on a motorcycle sped past, holding my handbag," said the 49-year-old.
"I screamed for help and MCA lawyer P.Y Leong chased the men," said Lam, an Inland Revenue Board assistant director, who is also an honorary Rela lieutenant-colonel.
She added that the snatch thieves even turned around and dared the group to come after them.
"They challenged Leong and shouted expletives at us," Lam said at the MCA Public Services and Complaints Department yesterday.
Department chairman Datuk Seri Michael Chong, said he, too, was shocked at the boldness of the men during the incident which "happened very quickly".
"Another two men on a motorcycle came from behind and joined the first two before speeding off.
"This shows that they had a back-up plan in case the first two were caught."
Lam lost RM2,500(S$1,023), her MyKad, driver's licence and car keys.
She has lodged a report at the Kepong police station.
Chong added that snatch thefts and robberies were becoming more rampant these days.
"Just last week, a seafood restaurant in Taman Mayang was held up by eight parang-wielding men at around 8pm.
"The customers were forced to surrender their cash and valuables," Chong said.
He urged the police to step up efforts to curb crime as robbers were becoming more "aggressive" and "daring" .
Statistics from Bukit Aman showed that 22,929 street crimes were reported last year, with 3,323 being snatch thefts.