x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Handbag thefts spark ATM warnings

Police are warning customers to be extra vigilant around cash machines after eight men were arrested for stealing handbags from women who had just made withdrawals.

SHARJAH // Police are warning customers to take extra precautions near cash machines after eight men were arrested for allegedly stealing handbags from women who had just withdrawn money.

Sharjah Police CID said it had received a number of complaints, including those of three women from Butina area who told them men had stolen their purses.

"After the women withdrew their cash and entered their vehicles, one of the suspects would knock on the victim's window and claim that there was a problem with the vehicle," a CID spokesman said.

"As the victim got out from the car, another suspect would snatch the purse from the passenger seat and run away from the scene."

Police arrested two men from Afghanistan who they said confessed to working with six compatriots.

Police said the suspects admitted stealing a large sum of money, the amount of which the CID would not disclose, and gold jewellery.

Police yesterday arrested the other six suspects, including two men who had been previously deported for stealing from bank customers but had found their way back into the country.

The victims identified the suspects and the case has been referred to Sharjah Public Prosecution.

ykakande@thenational.ae