x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Man stole clothes during fire drill, court hears

The shop worker at Festival City Centre is accused of taking Dh64,000 worth of items.


DUBAI // A salesman at Festival City Centre stole Dh64,000 worth of women’s clothing during a fire drill in October, the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance heard yesterday.

The suspect, M?A, a 29-year-old Syrian, took more than 20 items from Balbadi Fashion, dragging them out of the store in a black plastic bag, court records show. The act was captured on surveillance cameras.

Prosecutors said that on October 25 last year, M?A and his colleagues closed their shops during a fire drill, a process they were told would take about 30 minutes. The prosecutors added that M?A called a female colleague and told her that the drill’s programme had been changed and it would now take four to five hours.

The woman, N?A, also a Syrian, told prosecutors that when she returned to the store, MA was standing at the door looking nervous. “His face was red and he was sweating strongly.”

She noticed some shelves were empty and asked about the missing pieces. He denied taking them and started looking for them, court records showed. She called her employer, who reported the incident to the police.

The records stated that M?A was caught on surveillance cameras stashing clothes from the shelves in a plastic bag, which he dragged to another shop. He was arrested the next day. The court will reconvene on February 27 to hear defence arguments.