x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Police arrest man over Dh3.8m jewellery burglaries

Police arrest man suspected of stealing more than Dh3.8m worth of jewellery in 12 house burglaries across Dubai.

DUBAI // Police have arrested a man suspected of stealing more than Dh3.8 million worth of jewellery in 12 house burglaries across Dubai.

Officers said the man had carried out four burglaries in Al Muraqabat, four in Al Rifa'a, two in Bur Dubai and two in Al Qusais. They believe he may also have been involved in a further ten thefts in Sharjah which are still under investigation.

He was arrested on July 17 at Dubai Airport, where some of the jewellery was found inside the pipes of a bicycle he had in his luggage. Police believe he sent the rest of the jewellery out of the country in a cargo parcel which included pots and electrical equipment. They are yet to retrieve the parcel.

Lt Col Ahmed Al Merri, of the criminal investigation division, said today that the man, from Georgia, had come to the country with the specific intent of carrying out the burglaries. He entered Dubai on May 21 and carried out the first burglary the following day. Lt Col Al Merri said he targeted homes that "looked fancy" and were owned by Asians presumed to possess large quantities of gold.

"He looked for specific door decoration to be able to identify the nature of the home," said Lt Col Al Merri.

"He would knock the door and in case of no response he would break into the house very quietly and empty the house of its jewellery."

Lt Col Al Merri said the man was assisted by two compatriots who provided surveillance assistance, but had managed to leave the country before police could identify them. "We are in the process of issuing a red notice," said Lt Col Al Merri.

He said the arrest was the sixth so far involving the country's nationals and suggested criminal gangs from the country were targeting the UAE.

"There has been an increase in the number of criminal gangs, between three to five people in each group, coming from this country. Therefore, we are planning to carry out a study on the these groups and to find means on how we can prevent them," he said.

The arrest led to calls for property owners to install surveillance cameras as a means of preventing such crimes. "Building owners need to look after the interest of their tenants and instal surveillance cameras as they deter criminals," said Brigadier Khalil Al Mansouri, head of the criminal investigations department.

"For instance, this man did not carry out a single crime in a building which had surveillance cameras," he added.

wissa@thenational.ae