UAE: Don’t leave cars with engines on as you shop, residents told

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi Filed on March 21, 2021 | Last updated on March 21, 2021 at 11.24 am

The practice may lead to car theft, says public prosecution

Public prosecutors in the UAE have urged motorists not to leave their cars with engines’ ignition on while they step out of vehicles because this might lead to car theft.

The caution was sounded after a motorist’s vehicle was stolen in a similar manner. He had parked his vehicle near a grocery store to buy some items while his car’s ignition was on.

Public prosecutors said that the person had got out of his car in a rush and had left the vehicle unattended while its engine was on.

He returned after a few minutes to find his vehicle missing.

“He was shocked. Initially, he thought that one of his friends was pulling a fast one on him. He kept calling his friend to ensure it was a practical joke and his vehicle wasn’t stolen,” public prosecutors tweeted.

Later, he filed a police complaint about the car theft.

An investigation was started, and closed-circuit TV (CCTV) footage revealed that a teenager sped away with the vehicle since the car’s ignition was on.

The teenager furiously drove the car till it ran out of fuel. He abandoned the car on a road and decamped with cash that he found in the vehicle.

The details of the car theft incident were shared by public prosecutors on Twitter as part of a routine awareness campaign.

The case study aims to make the public more alert and refrain from negligence.

“As the proverb goes: He that shows his purse bribes the thief. So, we have to make sure that the vehicle is switched off, even if the matter takes only a few minutes,” public prosecutors further tweeted.

The UAE federal law stipulates that leaving a car with its ignition on can lead to a Dh300 fine.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.

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