Gang of wire thieves busted in Sharjah

SHARJAH — The Sharjah Police finally caught up with a six-member gang of Asians instrumental in a series of cable and wire thefts in Industrial Area No. 15 of the emirate. The arrests followed investigations into the murder of a watchman of an electric company.


Afkar Ali Ahmed

Published: Wed 2 Aug 2006, 9:46 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 5:58 PM

The watchman was strangled when he tried to prevent the gang from breaking into the company warehouse, a police source said. The gang eventually fled with electric cable measuring 420 metres, the source added.

The gang was arrested by investigation section officers within 24 hours of the murder of the 35-year-old Indian. They, along with four others who were not involved in the murder, were later found to be behind a series of cable and wire thefts from various electric devices companies in the industrial area.

Following a call received at the operations room to report about a dead body in Sharjah Industrial Area 15, CID officers rushed to the scene to find the murdered watchman, his hands and legs tied with plastic wires, police said.

Police officers removed the body and conducted a thorough search at the scene before forming special teams to follow up the investigation. One police team intercepted four persons in a car filled with a large quantity of wires and cables, which they claimed they had bought from another person.

After ascertaining their names and the location of the person who had ‘sold’ the wire, the foursome was arrested. During the investigation, they confessed to the murder and several cable and wire thefts in the industrial area, which were highlighted in a report published by Khaleej Times on July 21.

The police said that a series of wire thefts from electrical hardware outlets in Sharjah Industrial Area had been reported at police stations. During July alone, more than eight thefts of electric wire of ten metre or more were reported, with some retail outlets being burgled twice a week.

The gang specialised in breaking open doors and locks of trading establishments employing saws and screwdrivers before making good with the wires. The gang would target only copper wires in view of the returns it could fetch.

Anwar Ismaeel, owner of a hardware outlet in Sharjah, said his shop was robbed twice in one week. The first theft took place on a Friday when the thieves made off with goods worth Dh235,000 and, two days later, Dh400,000 worth of goods went missing.

Ismaeel expressed happiness over news of the gang's arrest. The owners of Assad Electric Shops and Key West Electric Equipment Company related how their establishments had been robbed but were equally pleased following news of the gang's arrest.

The businessmen said the industrial area had turned into a sanctuary of sorts for runaway workers, criminals and thieves and urged the authority to deploy CID officers in the area to get rid of such anti-socials.

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