Banditry was rife around Batavia (modern Jarkata) during the late colonial period. Banditry in West Java identifies the bandits and describes their working methods and their motives, which at times went beyond simple self-enrichment. The author also explores the world of the robbers' victims, mainly city-dwellers, who viewed the bandits as the antithesis of civilization and made them into convenient objects onto which respectable citizens projected their own preoccupations with sex, violence, and magic. The colonial police force in the Dutch East Indies was reformed in the early 1920s, and banditry was subsequently brought under control. However, the bandit tradition lived on in Javanese popular imagination and folk culture, particularly in the tales of Si Pitung, a Robin Hood figure who flourished in nineteenth-century Batavia.