GEORGE TOWN: A mobile phone thief who was being chased by a teenager who witness him in the act, fell to his death from a third floor of a budget hotel here.

The body of the 29-year-old man from Perak landed in a dark alley behind the hotel.

It happened at about 8pm.

Police said the man had allegedly stolen a mobile phone belonging to a female Spanish backpacker, who was having a drink at a nearby coffee shop, in Lebuh Chulia.

The police spokesman said the man then hopped onto a motorcycle manned by his 23-year-old girlfriend, who is a local. Several people who saw the incident, gave chase.

The 16-year-old who identified himself as Imtiyaz, told the New Straits Times that shortly afterwards, the woman who panicked, lost control of the machine and crashed into a concrete structure, next to the hotel.

"The man abandoned his girlfriend who was then immediately apprehended by passers-by.

"I decided to exercise my right as a citizen, to stop the thief from escaping...

so I chased after him as he ran up the hotel. "He then jumped from the fourth floor onto the hotel's awning...

I managed to grab hold of his shirt, but he slipped through," Imtiyaz who lives next to the hotel said when met at the scene.

Imtiyaz said he continued the chase until the man repeated the stunt and tried jumping over to an adjacent building.

"I saw him leap across... but the gap between the hotel and building is too wide.

He fell through and landed on his back at the alley,"
Imtiyaz said. Northeast distinct police chief Assistant Commissioner Mior Farid Alatrash Wahid said a team of paramedics failed to resuscitate the man. His body had been sent for a post-mortem.

Mior said the woman detained who was handed over to the police would be investigated under Section 379 of the Penal Code for stealing.

He added that the police recovered the mobile phone and returned it to the foreign woman.


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