Nineteen suspects – 15 locals and four migrant workers – have been arrested for a series of burglaries and robberies in Malaysia over the past month.

The suspects were linked to at least five instances of theft involving cash and valuables worth an estimated 30,000 ringgits (US$7,677) in four towns – Kulai, Senai, Kelapa Sawit and Bukit Batu, Kulai district police chief Superintendent Dzulkhairi Mokhtar said at a media briefing on February 5, Sin Chew Daily (Malaysia) reported.

Kulai police made two arrests on February 1. At 4.30am, four migrant workers aged from 24 to 31 were arrested in Bukit Batu for breaking into a unit and stealing valuables worth 800-ringgit (US$204) several hours earlier. Seven cellphones, three tablet computers and a parang knife were seized during the operation.

It was not known what country the migrant workers came from.

Separately, at 4.15pm, two local men aged 28 and 29 were arrested by police after admitting that they were responsible for threatening an Indonesian worker and his friends with knives and stealing valuables worth 400 ringgit (US$102) in a workers’ hostel in Kulai during the evening on January 30.

The pair admitted they had conducted 13 other robberies targeting migrant workers over the past two months. Four other accomplices were still on the run.

All up, some 19 suspects were arrested in the three police operations last month. Most of the suspects also tested positive for drugs, which suggested the burglaries and robberies were committed when they were short of money.