x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Salesman stole Dh1m of watches, police say

A salesman cleaned out a Festival City luxury watch shop, taking 80 Tissot, Rado, Omega and Longines timepieces, police say.

DUBAI // A salesman walked off with Dh1 million in watches from a Festival City shop this month, police investigators said yesterday.

The salesman, KB, cleaned out the luxury watch shop last month, taking 80 Tissot, Rado, Omega and Longines timepieces, said Lt Col Ahmad Al Merri, the Dubai Police director of criminal investigations.

"The robbery had all the signs of an inside job," said Lt Col Al Merri. "It seemed that the assailant had very good knowledge of the shop's layout and where the most valuable items were.

"After the shop manager reported the theft, he said that as he left the store the night before everything was in place and the security system was switched on.

"When investigators arrived on the scene, they discovered that the security system had been turned off by the thief."

There were no signs of forced entry, Lt Col Al Merri added. Forensic experts determined a copied key was used to get in.

Police profiled all of the shop's employees and discovered KB had been transferred 10 days before the crime after he was involved in arguments.

"People working at the shop described him as a troublesome employee who was constantly getting into arguments and fights with his co-workers," Lt Col Al Merri said.

"Based on our suspicions, we immediately requested a search warrant and proceeded to KB's home."

He said KB was found with all the watches within 24 hours of the robbery.

"During our interrogations, he stated that he intended to sell the watches on the black market," Lt Col Al Merri said.

"He claimed that he worked in the luxury watch business and knew how to sell them discreetly."

Lt Col Al Merri said shop owners should be more vigilant with their security and staff.

"I would like to send a message to shop owners not to leave keys and security-related items accessible to everyone who works there," he said.

"I also hope that they will take more seriously installing appropriate security systems, as in this case the robber was able to switch the system off in the flick of a button."

KB has been referred to the Public Prosecutor's Office to face charges.

amustafa@thenational.ae