There are stories in Cambodge soir as well as in Cambodia Daily right now.
I was passing by an accident scene, where a young french woman died after robbers tried to snap her handbag. She was sitting on a mototaxi and fell off, when a minivan was passing by. She was hit by the van and died. The Motodriver as well as the van driver and of course the robbers fled the scene. I had to pass just centimeters from her body. It was a shock.
I just got this message i copied from the campodiaparentsnetwork:
Yesterday afternoon my driver informed me that he witnessed a scene where a foreign woman was pulled off of her moto taxi by purse snatchers (he called them "gangs") and was then instantly (accidentally) hit by a vehicle and killed. This story haunted me for the rest of the evening, as I worried about this poor woman, wondering how they would identify her to inform her family if her purse was taken. Today the story made it to the newspaper and it seems that they did not succeed in taking her purse so she's been identified as a 28 year-old French woman named Aurelia Lacroix. The article ends by saying that evidence is inconclusive as to whether it was a purse snatching or regular traffic accident. Let me assure you that this was a purse-snatching that ended tragically and is now the 3rd (and worst) story I have heard of foreign women being injured after being dragged off moving vehicles by men on motorbikes who were after their bags. It seems that they are not deterred by broad daylight or crowds, nor the fact that their victims bags are secured to their arms or bodies. So far all the victims I've heard about have been foreign women. So please please beware! At this stage it would seem advisable to avoid riding motodops altogetherr and if you must, to not carry any kind of visible purse or bag. The same would apply to tuks tuks. Either keep bags completely hidden, or
on the contrary, put valuables in your pocket and leave bags on the floor of the tuk tuk, unattached to your body, so that if someone really wanted it, they could just take it. This is unofficial advice and what I would choose to do, but if anyone else has other safety tips, please share them. My condolences to anyone who knew Aurelia.
And thats the story from AFP:
PHNOM PENH, Nov 14, 2007 (AFP) - A French woman was killed Wednesday when she was struck by a mini-bus after being pulled off a motorcycle taxi by purse-snatchers in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, police said.
Aurelia Lacroix, 28, died instantly following the noon-time robbery, which occurred when at least two young men on a motorcycle pulled up alongside her and grabbed her purse, said Ben Khun, deputy Phnom Penh traffic police chief.
"The victim fell off the motorcycle taxi and the mini-bus ran her over," he told AFP.
Officials said Lacroix was working as a legal intern in Cambodia.
The robbers escaped, he said, while both the bus and taxi drivers fled the scene, he added.
While robberies have decreased overall in Cambodia, purse and chain-snatching are on the rise and are particularly problematic around major holidays, affecting Cambodians and foreigners alike.
Cambodia next week is set to begin celebrating the Water Festival, which draws millions of people to the capital for four days of boat races and parties.