x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Teenager, caught in the act, is accused of RAK break-ins.

Police say high school student copied crime movies on television

RAS AL KHAIMAH // A high school pupil who was arrested after a months-long spree of breaking into shops confessed that he sold most of the stolen goods - particularly mobile phones and telephone cards - to classmates, police said yesterday. The teenager was arrested inside a shop on Wednesday night as he prepared to steal more goods, said the Criminal Investigation Department.

The boy, 17, is suspected of being involved in several cases of breaking into shops across RAK over the past few months and stealing money, mobile phones, telephone cards, children's games and other valuables, according to Lt Col Salim al Darmaky, chief of the department. Shop owners had reported several theft cases. The suspect, an Emirati student, is said to have broken open the locks using a sharp object and helped himself to various items and cash.

A team of detectives began an investigation and, acting on a tip-off one night, rushed to the scene and found the boy inside a shop about to commit another crime. During an interview, police said, the teenager confessed to the thefts and told officers he learnt his burglary skills - including breaking locks and wearing gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints - by watching crime movies on television. He said he stuffed pillows under his blankets before going on his nightly prowls, so if his parents looked in on him they would not be suspicious.

Most of the stolen goods had been sold to fellow pupils at his high school. The suspect has been referred to the Public Prosecution. Lt Col Darmaky has urged parents to be aware of their children's behaviour, stressing that crimes have increased among teenagers. He also cautioned pupils not to buy mobile phones from anyone unless they could produce receipts. @Email:ykakande@thenational.ae