Perth Schoolie Limara Holmes has told of the shock of having her mobile phone stolen in Bali and then watching as security guards metered out street justice to the alleged teenage perpetrator.

So bad was the "justice" that she thought the teenager was dead.

Holmes, 17, is in Bali for Schoolies week with a group of 30 students from Woodvale Secondary College when she found herself the victim of a phone snatch in the heart of Kuta.

Yesterday, Holmes recounted the events of the night and at Kuta Police Station, police paraded the 16-year-old accused of taking her phone, bandages on his head and bruises on his swollen face.

Limara Holmes says she thought the man who attempted to steal her phone 'was dead'. Photo / Facebook
Limara Holmes says she thought the man who attempted to steal her phone 'was dead'. Photo / Facebook

Holmes was walking down a Kuta laneway with schoolfriend Simon Grogan about 3.30am on Sunday morning when two men on a motorbike came from behind and snatched the phone from her hands.

She had just taken it out of her bag to send a message.

Adrenaline kicked in.

"We were running and screaming, they have my phone," Ms Holmes recalled.

The bike had gone in the direction of their hotel and hearing the commotion, security guards had stopped the bike.

"He had all these other phones on him. They put him in handcuffs and they were hitting him on the head with batons," Holmes said

"I thought he was dead, me and Simon thought he was dead. That was the worst part, we just sat there, we didn't know what to do."

Later at the police station Holmes and Grogan were in the same room as the alleged thief, which they described as an awful and uncomfortable situation.

Now the group, who is in Bali until Thursday this week, says they never go out with their mobile phones.

And Holmes says that walking down the same laneway, which leads from the Sky Garden nightclub to their hotel, is now scary.

"Now when I walk down there I get scared," Holmes said.

But the group has not allowed it to dampen their end of year trip.

The parents of many of those in their group are also in Bali with them but staying at separate hotels during the schoolies celebrations.

Photos of the teenage alleged phone snatcher were posted on Facebook groups shortly after the incident, showing him bleeding at the scene after he was bashed by security, who stopped him from escaping, and comments suggested he was lucky to escape with his life.

Police said he and another man were targeting westerners in Kuta because they carry valuable property with them, especially at this time of year where Kuta is swarming with Australian schoolies.

The 16-year-old, Kiki Irfan, is married with a child and therefore, under Indonesian law, will be treated as an adult.

He faces charges of theft under the criminal code which carry a maximum five years in jail.

Kuta Police chief Commissioner Wayan Sumara said the victim had taken out her mobile phone and suddenly the alleged perpetrator, Kiki Irfan and another man rode up on a motorbike and snatched the phone.

"The victim was screaming 'help me, my phone is stolen'," Comm Sumara said.

He then confirmed security guards from the hotel had intervened and the man was arrested at the scene.

Police also had been patrolling nearby.

It is not uncommon in Indonesia for thieves and pickpockets to be dealt with by street justice and they frequently don't escape with their lives.

Comm Sumara said Irfan and his cohort, who was yet to be arrested, were allegedly specifically targeting foreigners because their goods were believed to be better quality and more expensive.

He said it was the hotel security who had inflicted the injuries not the police, whom he said would never bash a suspect.

As he was paraded, the police asked the suspect how much the phone would fetch on the black market when he onsold it.

He said 2 million Rupiah or about $200.

But he said little else, keeping his bruised head bowed, as police spoke about him and the media filmed.

Comm Sumara repeated his warning to schoolies, to be careful of their property and not to bring mobile phones with them when they venture out in Kuta, saying they are easy targets for pickpockets.

And he warned schoolies against accepting rides on motorbike taxis, called ojek, and going out alone.

"When you are drunk, remember where is the police post and where is your hotel," Comm Sumara said.