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NewStraitsTimes, February 3rd 2012
German couple’s holiday marred
An elderly German couple were attacked by machete-wielding robbers on Saturday night, all for a handbag containing RM280.
Hubert Heiler, 70, and his wife, Mariah Hease, 66, were slashed on their arms and all five of Hease's fingers on her left hand were almost severed while Heiler also suffered similar injuries on three of his fingers.
Relating their experience, Heiler said he and his wife were taking a stroll along the main road to their hotel in Pantai Tengah after dinner about 11pm when they saw a car parked at a dark stretch.
"When we got close to the car, three men suddenly rushed out.
"One of them grabbed hold of me from behind while the other two started attacking us with machetes.
"We were shocked by the aggression.
"They did not say anything, but just started attacking us."
The couple suffered injuries on their arms as they tried to ward off the blows.
Heiler said he and his wife would have given all their possessions had their assailants asked for them. Instead, the robbers kept assaulting them.
"I thought we were going to be killed.
"Fortunately, they left us after we fell to the ground.
"They took my wife's handbag, but did not even bother taking my wallet," Heiler said at the Langkawi Hospital yesterday.
The handbag contained RM280 and Hease's reading glasses.
The three robbers sped off in a car which was driven by another accomplice.
Heiler and his wife were helped by a passer-by who saw the couple bleeding profusely on the ground.
The passer-by rushed the couple to the hospital.
The couple now plan to fly back to their hometown in Bielefeld, Germany, once they are discharged.
Heiler said for the past 18 years, he and his wife had been spending two months every year in Langkawi.
Langkawi police chief Superintendent Harrith Kam Abdullah said they had arrested a suspect in connection with the case.
He said the suspect, a local youth who is a drug addict, was picked up early on Tuesday morning.
"He has been positively identified as being involved in a snatch theft case in the same area where the victim was also a tourist.
"We are now trying to establish if he was involved in this case."