Social media erupts over unarmed security guard’s response in viral bank robbery video in Malaysia

Photos via X/Benny_TehVerto

MALAYSIA: A viral video depicting an armed robbery allegedly taking place at a UOB Bank branch in Ipoh, Perak has set social media abuzz.

The video captures a suspect, donned in a helmet, entering the bank premises and menacingly brandishing a knife at two individuals conducting a transaction at the ATM.

Initially, the security guard on duty remains seated in the corner, seemingly unperturbed.

However, he swiftly exits the bank when he becomes aware of the robber’s presence.

The video has garnered significant attention on social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter), with 2 million views by the time of writing.

Diverse netizens’ reactions to security guard’s response

Opinions among internet users vary significantly regarding the security guard’s actions during the distressing incident.

Some netizens criticized the guard for what they perceived as a lack of courage in the situation, posting comments that raised questions about his response.

One netizen wondered if the security guard had been sleeping on the job.

Another netizen argued that the security guard had already made a mistake by allowing someone wearing a helmet to enter the bank.

Furthermore, there were individuals who questioned why the security guard was not armed, pointing out that even shops selling gold jewellery have armed guards.

However, there were also those who came to the guard’s defence.

They argued that the guard’s quick response in fleeing the scene potentially saved the women who were threatened.

One commenter highlighted the guard’s composed demeanour when he opened the door and called the robber, inviting him to leave.

Meanwhile, a curious netizen sought to uncover the conversation between the guard and the robber before the guard’s hasty retreat, stating, “Now we want to know what the guard said to the robber because the robber immediately chased after him.”

In a separate context, another netizen advised those proficient in using e-wallets to utilize them more frequently to reduce their reliance on ATMs.

Additionally, they suggested that elderly parents should have a companion accompany them when visiting the bank.

Lastly, it was revealed by a netizen that the suspected robber had an extensive criminal history, including involvement in 19 robbery cases in the Ipoh area.

The bank lauds the unarmed security guard’s swift action with a commendable reward

Despite the mixed reactions from internet users, the unarmed security guard, who adeptly diverted the robber’s attention and prevented harm to other potential victims, received recognition and a reward from the bank.

A photo shared on Facebook featured the security guard alongside several individuals, presumed to be UOB Bank representatives.

Law enforcement’s ongoing pursuit of the suspect

Identifying the suspect poses a significant challenge for law enforcement due to the constantly changing license plate on his motorcycle, making tracking him down a formidable task.

Local law enforcement has confirmed their ongoing efforts to apprehend the suspect.

The incident occurred on 14 May, when the suspect targeted an elderly woman in her 50s, resulting in a loss of RM300 (US$64.13).

The case is currently under investigation, with charges pending under Section 392 and Section 397 of the Penal Code for armed robbery.

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