Bali prosecutors demand 2.5 years jail time for American expat on trial over robbing string of convenience stores

American man Paul Hoffman robbed convenience stores in Bali on four occasions, prosecutors said in their indictment on Thursday. Photo: Flickr

An American man on trial for robbing a string of convenience stores in Bali’s Kuta and Seminyak areas should get 2.5 years prison, prosecutors argued in Denpasar District Court on Thursday.

Paul Anthony Hoffman, a Sanur-based expat, originally from New York, was arrested in February 2017 after allegedly holding up a number of convenience stores that same month, armed with a knife.

“The defendant has been proven guilty of theft by force or threat of violence against another person and violated Article 365, Section 65, Paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code,” public prosecutor Fitria Chandawati said, as quoted by Antara.

However, prosecutors said they showed some leniency in their demands for the 57-year-old since he was polite during trial and does not have any priors.

When Hoffman was first arrested back in February, local media reported that police believed Hoffman may have robbed as many as eight convenience stores in Bali.

In his indictment, prosecutors outlined four different robberies they say Hoffman committed.

The first was on February 8, 2017. Hoffman rode his motorbike to a store to buy bottled water. When he made like he was about to pay, the cashier opened the money drawer and Hoffman pulled his knife out. From that store, Hoffman managed to steal Rp 8.7 million, along with two bottles of liquor (Black Label worth Rp 1.4 million and Red Label worth Rp 900k).

In the next robbery, in the early hours of Feb. 9, 2017, Hoffman hit a convenience store on Sunset Road and got just Rp 176k. Then again on Feb. 14, 2017, Hoffman hit a Circle K on Jl. Drupadi in Seminyak and managed to steal Rp 800k, the indictment continued. And finally, Hoffman made it to a convenience store on Jl. Kayu Aya, Seminyak and hit it big, walking away with Rp 11 million.

Hoffman, however, was arrested by Kuta Police just a couple of days later on Feb. 16 at 1am.

Hoffman’s legal counsel will be given the opportunity to respond in court next week, according to reports.

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