Bali police swarmed a hotel in Denpasar on Friday, arresting a man who stole a taxi, apparently taking it for a joyride.
Identified in local news reports as Karisma Gultom, 26, the man was arrested in a raid at Hotel Dee Mansion in West Denpasar.
It’s alleged that Gultom took the taxi by force from Bluebird Taxi driver Urip Nugroho at 4:30am somewhere around Sunset Road in Kuta.
“The taxi driver was ordered out of the car. Then the taxi was seized and he rushed over to Mansion (the hotel),” Bali Post quoted an identified source as saying.
Police knew exactly where to find Gultom thanks to a GPS tracker in the vehicle.
Kuta Police Chief Wayan Sumara confirmed the incident. After catching Gultom, the case was handed over from Kuta Police to Denpasar Police.
Denpasar Police Chief Comr. Hadi Purnomo says the investigation is being deepened and police are exploring the possibility that Gultom could be responsible for additional instances of auto theft in Bali.
When arrested, Gultom was staying with a woman, allegedly his wife. Gultom had checked in with the woman around 6am this morning. A receptionist at the hotel says the couple came in this morning in a rush, parking a taxi out front.
“He came in with a woman, that could’ve been his wife, rushed here, but didn’t look like he was drunk,” Dee Mansion Hotel receptionist, Remindau, told Tribun Bali.
Though appearing not to be Indonesian, the man could speak bahasa Indonesia says Remindau.
“He said if anyone comes to ask about the taxi, say no one is here,” adding that he did not want to give his name or any identification when checking in, according to the receptionist.
“He directly paid Rp 300,000” for the room, Remindau said.
Whether or not the receptionist intended to follow Gultom’s instructions doesn’t seem to have mattered. A few hours later, police came and raided the hotel.