Crime: Thimphu police arrested a 21-year-old man yesterday for damaging eight vehicles in Hong Kong market, Thimphu.

At around 1:30am, a Hong Kong market resident reported to police that his car had been damaged.

When police reached the scene, the suspect had fled. However, police arrested the suspect after questioning two women and a man, who were at the scene. The suspect is un-employed.

Police found seven other vehicles with dents and windshields damaged. Signboards of about three business enterprises had also been damaged.

Police said that the man was under the influence of alcohol when he was arrested.

Police said that the suspect has denied the allegation and the case is still under investigation.

A police official said that despite daily patrols in the city’s core areas, such incidents continue to occur. This is the third case of vandalism involving several vehicles being damaged in recent months.

The official explained that because of lack of manpower, the Royal Bhutan Police is able to deploy only about two to three policemen in a patrolling group.

“A patrolling group deployed for a particular place cannot cover the whole of the area at the same time, therefore it is difficult to stop such crimes from happening,” the official said.

Most of the time, people complain about such incidents only when their property is damaged.

“Eyewitnesses of such incidences are not willing to come forward and report to police, maybe because of the hassle,” the police official said.

“The identification of the eyewitnesses will be kept confidential and their cooperation will help prevent such criminal incidents from happening,” the official added.

The suspect is being charged with malicious mischief.

Dechen Tshomo