Dubai Police bust gang behind villa robberies, theft of cash, goods worth Dh2 million

They burgled houses as their owners travelled outside the country for vacation


Afkar Ali Ahmed

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Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

Published: Thu 13 Apr 2023, 2:17 PM

Last updated: Thu 13 Apr 2023, 10:30 PM

The Dubai Police have busted a gang of four Latinos that carried out a spate of burglaries in villas across the emirate, and also targetted bank customer. The police said they stole cash, jewellery and watches worth over Dh2 million.

The gang burgled villas as their owners travelled outside the country for vacation.

They were arrested red-handed while trying to rob a bank client after he withdrew cash from an ATM.

The quartet were part of an organised international criminal gang. The arrest was made possible after the police launched "Microscope Operation", which placed the gang members under the scanner and monitored their movements outside and inside the country.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday at the CID premises, Major General Jamal Salem Al-Jallaf, Director of the General Department of Criminal Investigations said the case began after the police received seven reports about thefts in villas in residential complexes. The burglars used to break doors and enter the villas while the occupants were out of the country.

Major General Al-Jallaf added that Dubai Police formed a working team from the General Department of Investigations and Criminal Investigation, to follow up on the reports and search for culprits, following which they were able to identify four Latinos who belonged to an organised gang and had entered the country for the purpose of theft.

"The CID team found that the gang was able to leave the country before these thefts were reported. With international follow-ups, it was found that they had gone to one of the Middle East countries and had entered a neighbouring country through the land borders," Al-Jallaf said.

Returning to Dubai

Major General Al-Jallaf said: "From the investigation team's experience and from their work history in tracking the culprits, the CID team was certain that the gang members had gone to a Middle East destination and not gone to their home countries. The search, investigation and collection of information proved their return to the country was just a matter of time, and therefore they were placed under the microscope in anticipation of their return.

“After about a month, the team was able to monitor the gang members through CCTV cameras during their entry into the country. They were allowed to enter and their movements were monitored by the teams to ensure if they had anyone from inside the country was providing the gang with logistical support or helping to hide the stolen items.

MAl-Jallaf added that the team placed them under close surveillance 24 hours a day. For a short period of time, they replaced their car with another, in order to divert attention, and all these movements were being tracked by CID officers.

Failing to carry out burglaries at villas

Al-Jallaf explained that after precautionary measures were put into place by the Dubai Police to reduce these crimes, the gang members were not able to commit any thefts. Guards were put in residential complexed, cameras were installed, and lighting was put in dark areas. The community was urged to participate in the “Home Security” programme, which was supervised by the Dubai Police.

Gang members targeted bank clients

The official added that the gang also targeted a bank customer and tried to steal more than Dh60,000 from him. One gang member punctured the victim's vehicle tyre, while another one stole the money which was lying inside the car, but this crime was monitored by the police therefore they caught them red-handed.

Confessing to crimes

During interrogation, the gang members confessed that carried out seven robberies in villas besides robbing an Asian of his cash after he withdrew the money from ATM machines. They also confessed that they had carried out similar thefts in other countries. Dubai Police are coordinating with Interpol to notify these countries.

Community advised to register in smart home security program

The Dubai Police has urged citizens and residents to subscribe to the "Smart Home Security" program service through the Dubai Police application on smartphones, and through the Dubai Police website to further enhance security and safety.

Brigadier Muhammad Aqil Ahli, Deputy Director of the General Department of Criminal Investigations, explained that the housing security service is a preventive security service to protect the homes while they are spending vacations inside or outside the country or during travel for any other reason. The homes are monitored through surveillance cameras and sensors to enhance security.

External home surveillance cameras

Brigadier General Muhammad Aqil Ahli also called on the owners of villas to install surveillance cameras to further enhance security and safety in them.

Illegal workers

He urged community members not to violate labour laws by employing illegal workers, bringing in illegal maintenance workers or any unlicensed companies or seeking the help of unlicensed maids or gardeners to take care of the home gardens or any violators as it increases the chances of homes being burgled.

“Most home theft reports that were registered with us were caused by these violations,” he explained.

Caution for bank customers

Al-Jallaf stressed the importance of not withdrawing large sums of money from banks. In addition, he advised people to take extreme caution when carrying large sums of money and walking on the streets. They need to be careful and should not be distracted by strangers as it is one of the tricks used by gang members to steal money.

He called on community members to contribute to enhancing security and reducing crime by reporting illegal transgressions through the "Police Eye" service provided by the department on its smart application, or by calling the call centre 901 or the emergency number 999.


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