Victim forgives thief after he stole phone for his son’s online schooling

Abi (Right) in tears as he apologizes to Ferry and his wife for stealing their phone. Photo: Handout
Abi (Right) in tears as he apologizes to Ferry and his wife for stealing their phone. Photo: Handout

A phone theft victim in Bali has dropped charges against the perpetrator after learning about the latter’s dire economic circumstances that led him to the crime.

Yesterday, the Badung District Attorney Office announced to the press the conclusion of the criminal case. The office said that on April 14, the victim, 28-year-old Muhammad Ferry Kusuma, met with the phone thief, 38-year-old chicken farm employee Abi Achmad, to accept his apology.

Ferry chose forgiveness upon learning that Abi had stolen his phone and shipped it to his hometown of Lombok, East Nusa Tenggara (NTB) as his son, who is in high school, needed a device for his online education.

“The victim accepted the apology because the stolen phone was not sold, but it was for his son’s schooling,” said I Gede Gatot Hariawan, who heads the General Crimes Division at the Bandung DA Office.

Abi is set to be released from police custody in the next few days. He broke down in tears of gratitude to Ferry and his wife after they agreed to drop the charges against him.

The theft occurred on November 30, 2021. That day, Abi stopped by Ferry’s food stall in Mengwitani, Badung to buy a drink. Instead, he found the unattended phone, worth IDR3 million (US$208), and pocketed it before driving away.

Abi was eventually tracked down and arrested in February 2022. He was charged with theft under the Criminal Code (KUHP), which is punishable by up to five years in prison.

Abi has only managed to pay back part of the phone’s value to Ferry, but the victim has agreed to let the matter rest.

“From the bottom of my heart, I have forgiven him. I ask that he doesn’t do it again. If we can’t provide, it’s best to let our children know,” Ferry said.

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