Yangon's Volunteer Vigilantes Vow To "Fight The Thieves"

Yangon's Volunteer Vigilantes Vow To "Fight The Thieves"

Fight The Thieves (FTT) is a vigilante group formed on Oct. 1 with a stated aim to protect residents from theft as Yangon’s crime rate continues to soar since the 2021 military coup. FTT members are monitoring city streets and public buses, a spokesperson said. “People are not even safe downtown. We are not able to look away when people get robbed and pick-pocketed on public buses. If we arrest criminals, we will punish them until they do not commit these crimes again,” the FTT spokesperson added.

The FTT runs a Facebook page sharing tips on how to avoid being robbed. It states that it has over 50 members living in Hledan, Thaketa, Mayangone, North Okkalapa and Insein townships. It is not connected with local resistance forces, the police, or junta-backed militias. Since Oct. 20, 76 people have been robbed by criminals on motorcycles or pick-pocketed. Four have been robbed on Yangon public transit. Eleven homes have been broken into and robbed. All cases have been reported in Pabedan, Mingalar Taung Nyunt, Hledan, Thingangyun, South Dagon, North Okkalapa, Shwe Pyi Thar, Hlaing Thar Yar, Mayangone and Insein townships, according to FTT.