5-member gang breaks into villa, steals Dh65,000

Suspects used screwdriver to break into empty villa while tenants where on summer holiday

16:06 March 5, 2018

Dubai — Five suspects have been accused of breaking into a college professor’s villa and stealing Dh65,000 in cash and valuables while the latter was on a family holiday abroad.

The American college professor was said to have accompanied his family on their annual summer holiday in July 2016.

Three days later, the villa’s gardener called up the professor, according to records, to ask him if he had left the villa doors open before he travelled.

Suspecting that his villa could have been broken into, the American called up his nephew and asked him to check out his residence in Mirdif.

The nephew discovered that the villa had been broken into and ransacked.

The nephew instantly called the police and primary interrogation led the arrest of five Sri Lankan men, who according to records, turned out to have been involved in robberies committed using the same modus operandi.

Prosecutors accused the five Sri Lankan suspects, aged between 29 and 49, of using a screwdriver to break the villa’s locks, trespassing into the house to steal Dh15,000 in cash and Dh50,000 worth of jewelleries and valuables that included diamonds, earrings, wristwatches, ancient dagger and wallets.

The five suspects pleaded not guilty when they defended themselves before the Dubai Court of First Instance on Monday.

The American professor told prosecutors that he came to know about the heist when his gardener informed over the phone.

“My gardener called to ask me if I had left a chair in the garden and if I had left the doors open. Then I asked my nephew to visit my residence to check, and he did … thereafter I was told that somebody had trespassed into my house and stolen cash and valuables. The burglars broke down the front door and all the doors of the rooms in the villa,” he testified to prosecutors.”

A police sergeant told the prosecutors: “Primary interrogations and tip-offs from informants exposed the Sri Lankan suspects’ involvement in the heist. We apprehended two suspects in Sharjah in July. Then we arrested the remaining three at their homes … we recovered some of the stolen valuables at the suspects’ houses.”

Presiding judge Urfan Omar will hand out a judgement on March 12.