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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

Five men jailed for robbing American professor’s villa

The men targeted homes of people who were travelling 

Five men who broke into an American professor’s house and stole jewellery, electronics and Dh15,000 cash, were sentenced to six months in prison by Dubai Criminal Court.

The Sri Lankan men — aged between 29 and 49 — were armed with screwdrivers and broke into the villa on July 11 this year after climbing over the wall of his house.

They broke the locks to all the rooms inside the house and stole gold jewellery, a diamond necklace, luxury watches, electronics, an old Omani dagger and cash.

The villa-owner had left the country three days before but told the court that he had locked all the doors inside the house and the main door.

“I left the country with my family on July 8 and three days later I received a call from our gardener asking me if I had forgotten the main door to the villa unlocked,” said the 50-year-old professor.

The man asked his Sharjah-based nephew to check on his house and was told that the villa had been ransacked.

Read more: Gang rob American professor's home in Dubai, court hears

“He called me and informed me that the villa definitely was robbed in our absence and he called the police,” said the professor.

Police tracked down two of the men who robbed the villa and arrested them in Sharjah on July 17.

“During questioning, the two suspects told police about the rest of the defendants who were all arrested the same day,” said an Emirati policeman, 37.

The policeman said the five suspects were individually taken to the villa and each gave a similar account of what happened. “Which was a confirmation that they did rob the house,” the policeman said.

He said the suspects also admitted to stealing from several other houses after ensuring the homeowners were away.

“They said they look out for unlit houses. If the houses remain unlit for a while — to make sure that there are no people inside — they drive there. One remains in the car as a look out while the rest break into the house,” said the officer.

In court last March, the defendants denied an armed robbery charge. All were convicted and will be deported after serving their terms.