x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Jewellery store heist fails despite drilling

Three Bangladeshi men rented an apartment above a jewellery store and then spent months drilling through the floor to gain access to it, police say.

DUBAI // Three Bangladeshi men rented an apartment above a jewellery store and then spent months drilling through the floor to gain access to it, police say. But their carefully planned robbery went wrong when they failed to disable the Al Rifaa store's alarm. "This is a distinctive case due to methods used by the perpetrators," said Lt Col Ahmad al Merri, head of criminal investigations at Dubai Police. "They were very skilled and cautious in the digging. They were so discreet that nobody - residents or those working in the shop - noticed anything. We are calling the theft 'The Surgery' due to the precision with which the digging was carried out."

The men entered the shop on August 28 through the hole they made. Then they cut off the main electricity cable, thinking it would destroy the alarm. It did not, and they fled with nothing more than a computer. Police were able to identify one suspect within 24 hours of the crime by tracing records from the shop where they bought the digging equipment. "We were able to identify the shop as they had left the equipment behind in the flat. The shop was holding a copy of his identification card," said Lt Col al Merri.

The first suspect, MB, was arrested in an industrial area of a nearby emirate. He then lead police to the other suspects, MA and MG, and they were arrested. Police say it would have taken the suspects three months to carry out the digging. According to police records, the suspects confessed to the crime and the case has been referred to public prosecution.   wissa@thenational.ae