Beware of burglars while on vacation

Beware of burglars while on vacation
According to 999, burglars traditionally target expat Indian homes due to the belief that they keep huge amounts of gold at home.

Abu Dhabi - According to the police, empty homes during the vacation season are happy hunting grounds for burglars.



by

Olivia Olarte-Ulherr

Published: Sat 11 Jul 2015, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Sat 11 Jul 2015, 7:45 PM

Residents are being urged to "burglar-proof" their homes before going away for the long summer holidays.
According to the police, empty homes during the vacation season are happy hunting grounds for burglars.
Last year, the Dubai Police recorded 333 home burglaries, an increase of 12 break-ins compared to 321 in 2013. Of the 333 cases, 197 were committed in villas, 14 in traditional houses and 122 in apartments, according to 999, the official publication of the Ministry of Interior.
Cases last year included the arrest of a South Asian man who stole money and gold jewellery from empty homes in Sharjah; five Arabs connected to a series of burglaries in Bur Dubai; and three East European men found with jewellery, cash and stolen items worth around Dh10 million. In 2013, the Abu Dhabi Police arrested a gang of three, including a teenager, who cleaned out an Emirati home while the family was away for the weekend. The thieves took cash and valuables amounting to more than Dh300,000.
According to 999, burglars traditionally target expat Indian homes due to the belief that they keep huge amounts of gold at home. And such homes are easily recognisable due to the decorations on their doors which broadcasted their nationality. A Dubai couple on holiday last summer came back after receiving a theft alert from a neighbour.
"One of the first things that the investigating officers told us was to not have traditionally decorated Indian buntings on the door," Meenu Pocha told 999. She said that the thieves left their electronic items including laptops and mobile phones untouched but took the safe that contained two gold bangles worth about Dh6,000.
According to the report, only six per cent of UAE residents have insurance for the content of their homes, compared to about 70 per cent in other countries.
Since the launch of the home security programme by the Dubai Police in 2009, registrations have grown from 207 in 2010 to 282 in 2014. The police said no burglaries have been reported from the registered villas as once registered, the villa becomes part of regular police patrol.
Be pro-active
The police have started a campaign to raise awareness about home security and have advised that being pro-active is the key to ensuring that your home is safe from intruders.
> In emirates that have home security programme, they urge residents to register with their local police department before going away on holiday.
> Inform newspaper boys so papers don't pile-up at the doorstep.
> Let neighbours know that you're leaving and ask them to report if they see anything suspicious noises.
> Don't leave windows open, install an alarm system, don't leave small valuables at home, install CCTVs in the building and light timers to give a lived-in appearance.
> Find house-sitters from among friends.
> Leave expensive belongings with a trusted family or friend.
olivia@khaleejtimes.com


More news from UAE