HE was neither a successful businessman nor did he inherit wealth. But this father of two led a life of luxury.
He was unemployed but splurged on plush cars, fine food and did costly renovations to his double-storey house in Bukit Rimau, Shah Alam as if he ran a successful enterprise.
Abdul Khalid Hamid, then aged 45, was a snatch thief.
Unlike regular snatch thieves who resort to crime to feed their drug addiction or buy their next meal, this ex-security guard loved a life of luxury and was infamously known as the “hedonistic snatch thief”.
He made no less than RM10,000 a month from snatching handbags, jewellery and other valuables from his victims, mainly in Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya.
Abdul Khalid owned two luxury cars – a Mercedes Benz E-Class and a Proton Perdana.
Every morning, he dressed up smartly and left in one of the cars as if he was going to work.
However, he would head to an undisclosed location where he parked the car, changed his attire and rode off on a stolen motorcycle in search of victims.
After four years of being in “business”, it all came to an end on the morning of Aug 4, 2004 when he was spotted by patrol policemen while snatching a handbag of a 20-year-old woman in USJ 6, Subang Jaya.
He sped off with police hot on his trail, and was subsequently arrested after he crashed into a car.
After interrogations, investigators were taken aback when the man led them to his house where they found a heap of hundreds of handbags, dozens of passports and MyKads and other valuables estimated to be worth about RM300,000.
His house, which had already been extensively renovated, was undergoing a fresh makeover for a grand facade at the entrance and an extension at the rear portion.
Police learnt that Abdul Karim had pulled off at least 80 snatch theft cases a month since 2000.
He was responsible for over 150 reported cases of snatch thefts in Selangor.
Three other men whom the thief had regularly sold the stolen loot to were also arrested.
Days after his arrest, Abdul Karim was charged in court for his crimes.
In January 2005, he was sentenced to nine years’ jail. His assets were also forfeited and months later, he faced more charges for money-laundering.
He confessed to purchasing his house and cars with the ill-gotten gains and received another five years in jail, that was ordered to be served after his first sentence.