A friend is mugged just now in Bali. What advice can you give her?

This is what she wrote just now.

"I am in Bali, I was unfortunately mugged tonight on our last night by men on a motorcycle about 100 yards from our hotel. They grabbed me and held my arm while I lost my iPhone, which is everything.
Airplane mode was on, so I cannot track it. Please if you know of anything I can do to find it on airplane mode please let me know and contact me here. The police are extorting us for money to file a report but I think it's just a lost cause."

Any advice for her on what to do? Asap please.

Hi Myjak, that is really shocking, especially if the police are trying to extort money to file a report. However, this is Indonesia. Sorry also that I do not own an iphone but maybe you can find something online about tracking it or call Apple support for advice. Good luck to your friend.

it is a travesty that the police want paying for doing a job they already get paid for , very sad . on another forum " living in indonesia" another visitor had  their bag stolen in ubud a few days ago besides money credit cards also an i phone .

Since I belong to a forum of women who go around the world, here's her update just to put a closure on this post. 
"Hey everyone I wanted to give a final update, I am okay just shaken from being grabbed and held. Thankful I fought and they let go. We were so close to our hotel that i took out my phone, normally wouldn't have had it out at night like that, so for those of you traveling just keep it hidden. We were not able to track it down, due to it being reset and saw the device on my gmail in a random place with a fake IP address so we knew it was game over. Never let this ruin a trip or scare you, it can happen anywhere. thank you to all of you who are so so supportive and kind and me."

It should come as no surprise that the police departments in Indonesia…POLDA, is not well funded, nor do the officers receive a salary which is even close to their counterparts in developed nations.

It should also come as no surprise that the police here must be careful insofar as selecting what criminal cases to pursue, and to “invest” in.  Simply put, the resources are not available to commit all assets for each and every crime.  But, for those familiar with law enforcement techniques, as well as the legal concept of “selective prosecution” by state’s attorneys, the way the police and prosecutors operate here is really not that different than in the West.

A number of years ago, but not that long ago, a dear friend of mine here in Ubud had a burglary at her home.  They took her laptop which was steel cabled to the floor, but they were prepared, and were able to cut that cable.

Her entire life and business was in that lap top, and there was almost no limit to the value of the data (without backup) that was in it.  OK, her fault for not having back up, but that was also the reason for her desperation.

The police in Ubud, and I know many of these guys very well, were onto a gang of thieves operating from Surabaya, but, as none of their crimes involved violence or crimes of a very serious nature, their investigation was basically in dribs and drabs, here and there, and not comprehensive.

My friend was offered a possible solution by the police…fund the investigation a bit (some would call that a bribe) and two officers would be seriously assigned to the case. 

This is exactly what she did, and within three weeks, the gang in Surabaya was raided, her lap top recovered, and all data was fine. 

It should also be noted, because this is the truth, that for locals, this sort of thing is very much the same.  For those who are convinced that the police operate differently with “tamu” than the local folks here in Bali…they are wrong.   It is totally the same for locals, and I submit that any Balinese who has had personal dealings with the police would agree.

As noted earlier, this is Indonesia.  Things don’t operate here like they do back “home” but they operate none the less.

How long did the special investigation by the police paid by bribe last before they found the culprits?  It's almost sounding like too good to be true (sorry for being skeptic as I am not one to be that easily) but - what if it's an inside job between the two? Did the thieves receive a fair punishment? If so, then it's nice to know a happy end story to all that what's happened to your friend. I could almost feel myself the relief she must have felt to have recovered everything intact.

In the case of my friend’s situation, her computer was recovered in about three weeks, give or take a week.  And as I said, the police were fairly certain that her burglary was carried out by this particular group operating out of Surabaya.  There had been a number of similar burglaries carried out in the Ubud area by this group at about the same time period, but this additional “funding” enabled the police to go to Surabaya directly, coordinate with local police there, and arrest those involved.  And most importantly for my friend, to get her lap top back as well as other items taken in other burglaries. 

I can see your point regarding suspicion…maybe the police were involved with the gang and the money she paid was, in reality, ransom money to get her lap top back.  Of course I can’t guarantee that wasn’t the case, but I doubt it, and my friend didn’t suspect that this was the case either.  My only point in relaying the story, (and there are other similar ones including some with my own involvement) where “funding” the investigation got the desired result…a result which perhaps wouldn’t have occurred without this “funding.”   And also I should mention that at no time was my friend given any sort of guarantee that by her financial "assistance", she would get her computer back.  She knew going into this "arrangement" that it was at her financial risk.   

Is this an ideal situation?  Of course not.  Ideally the police would be more than adequately funded and therein able to handle each and every crime with full resources available to the department.  As noted earlier, that just isn’t the reality here.   

As to what eventually happened to those thieves operating out of Surabaya, I don’t know, but the spat of burglaries that was going on here at that time ceased, so I suppose one can presume that justice was served.  Not having witnessed the burglary herself, my friend was in no position to be able to identify the particular thieves, and she had no interest in having to commit as a witness in any court trials.

You're so right and hit the nail on the head

I am sorry to say, but just let the phone go.

I doubt you will ever see the phone again.

Unlike here in USA, where you can BAN the
serial number or disable the phone remotely,
I think phones in Indonesia don't have that feature.

But then again, even here in USA, they have
black market where  BANNED phones are being
used for spare parts.

-- Patrick Juntak

Slightly off topic, but the content of the post shows us a little of the good on Bali.
I wonder if it would be nice as a new thread about the places to visit, things to do and what to eat on that island ... and perhaps beyond.

I would invite Oliver to copy and paste in into a new thread onto the Bali forum.

New topic