Abu Dhabi police bust robbery gang
Abu Dhabi, July 6, 2013
Abu Dhabi police have managed to arrest members of two gangs engaged in daytime robberies at luxury residential apartments and houses while the residents at away at their workplace.
The cops also managed to recover all the stolen items, including jewellery, precious stones and watches, hidden in two different locations - one at a hotel apartment in Dubai, and a farmhouse located in Al Khatam Region in Abu Dhabi.
The stolen goods were valued at more than Dh 1 million ($272,195), said top police officials.
Brigadier Maktoum Al Sharifi, the director of the Capital Police Directorate at Abu Dhabi Police GHQ said the east European gang (whose members are all on a visitor visa) carried out their tasks with expertise mainly robbing jewellery and gold ornaments from houses in Abu Dhabi.
The robberies were spaced in time and targeted different neighborhoods respectively so as not to draw attention, said the top official.
“The 7-member gang, (6 of Georgian nationalities and 1 Filipino), was expert in breaking into locked houses either by opening the doors or windows. Once there, they empty the jewellery and other gold ornaments and then escape to their hideout where the loot is divided,” he stated.
On their modus operandi, Brigadier Al Sharifi said the gang members knocked on the targeted apartment’s door pretending to maintenance workers. Once in, they examine the apartment’s contents and assess the financial status of the residents.
"The gang then scans the entire house and the area and wait for the right moment. Once the residents leave for office in the morning, the gang breaks into the house and steals the light-weight and valuable gold jewellery," he added.
Based on a tip-off, a team from Al Shaabiah police station of the Capital Police Directorate worked out a strategy, which included search operations and monitoring potential sites that may be targeted by the gang members.
During one such search operation, the police officers came across a group of suspects in the area and quietly placed them under surveillance. When the members got into the act, they were caught red-handed.”
Upon raiding the gang’s hideout, the Abu Dhabi police team got the shock of their lives as their dwelling turned was more than an hideout.
The house had a miniature smelter which the members used to molten stolen jewelry into gold bars (bullions) so that it could be easily marketed or smuggled outside the country.
Brigadier Al Sharifi said in a successful one-of-a-kind operation, the police team was able to recover most of the jewellery.
"During the preliminary investigations, the 7 Eastern European gang members confessed that they took part in identifying potential luxury residential apartments and houses to be stolen. Each member was given a different role in the entire robbery. One was given the task to spot the potential apartments and mark them, while the other's job was to make sure the residents were away at the time of action. The rest would then break in and decamp with the booty," he added.
In another incident, Brigadier Al Sharifi said the police nabbed two Pakistanis (a driver and an illegal) for theft at luxury homes.
“Once arrested, the main suspect (the driver) unveiled the stolen goods stash hidden by his accomplice in suitcases in a farm located in Al Khatam Region in Abu Dhabi. The loot included precious watches, jewellery, precious stones and electronic devices”, he said.
The Asian gang’s confession validated the investigations, which showed that the gang members worked jointly. One of them would carry out the robberies, while the other hides the stolen goods.
The Capital Police Directorate head called on the owners to secure their apartments during their absence, and avoid leaving any open windows even on the top floors.
He also cautioned them against leaving any valuables or money in the open, and advised them to deposit them at their banks, stressing the need to inform the police agencies and neighbors of their absence.
He also urged the public to be cautious while letting strangers into their apartments and houses and check their employment documents and ID or contact the party who sent them.
He also reminded community members of the importance of quickly reporting any suspicious activity or individual without delay, to allow competent authorities to take the necessary legal action.-TradeArabia News Service