UAE | Crime

A tribute to UAE's dumbest thieves

A thief arrested and deported from Dubai six times went on trial yet again last fortnight after he was caught for the seventh time. But he's not the only one in need of some grey cells.

  • By Mazhar Farooqui, Leisure editor, Xpress
  • Published: 13:41 November 19, 2009
  • Sleeping on the job
    Sleeping on the job

    Two men learned the hard way that it's not a good idea to get some shut-eye while committing a robbery. After breaking into an electronic store in Deira, the thieves took swigs of liquor as they waited for the right time to escape. However, to their misfortune, they fell asleep. And for once, somebody was caught napping, literally.

  • Phoney talk
    Phoney talk

    Another thief in need of a few more brain cells is this 23-year-old, who stole a GSM phone card from a car in Nad Al Sheba and made international calls worth Dh32,000 to his family. He was busted by his own stupidity. Because when the police called up the numbers of the outgoing calls, the thief's family identified him.

  • It was in his jeans
    It was in his jeans

    A man slipped into a Lulu Hypermarket trial room with a pair of jeans, removed its security tag, put the jeans on and casually walked away. It was an audacious plan that showed great skill and a measure of grit. But one dumb mistake did him in. Instead of throwing away the security tag, he kept it in his pocket. Sure enough, when he passed the security gate, the alarm went off. But since he was empty-handed, the store's security couldn't initially figure out what triggered the alarm until someone decided to search his pockets.

  • Forget me not
    Forget me not

    Those too lazy to get what they want through hard work are prone to costly shortcuts. A case in point is that of this absent-minded thief who stole a gold bracelet from a jewellery store in Deira in early 2005 and then tried to sell it to the same shop two days later. The shop assistant recognised the bracelet and alerted the cops who showed up while the thief was still haggling for a better price.

  • Long run
    Long run

    If you think it takes smarts to steal a 16-metre-long 20 tonne trailer you're dead wrong. Getting away with it — that's another story. With nowhere to hide the 18-wheeler, the thief left the monster vehicle near a garage. The trailer was easily found and the thief arrested.

  • Paper Trail
    Paper Trail

    Forensic experts all over the world work on the premise that criminals always leave a clue behind at the scene. Cops investigating a break-in at a Bur Dubai electronic shop in November 2003 didn't have to look too far to find one. The thief had taken care to wipe off his fingerprints, but as he was scurrying away with his bounty of 17 cellphones and a laptop, he made one critical mistake. He dropped his visa papers. Needless to say, the 23-year-old was promptly arrested.

  • Fake ID(EA)
    Fake ID(EA)

    Flashing a fake police ID, illegal resident S.K. stopped a stranger in Naif asking him to show his identity papers. As soon as the unsuspecting man took out his wallet, S.K. snatched it and ran away. He didn't go far, because when he was digging into his pocket to take out the fake police ID, he accidentally dropped his credit card. The bumbling 25-year-old robber was nabbed even before he could spend a penny of the stolen money.

  • Brief's case
    Brief's case

    When panties hung out to dry started to mysteriously disappear from villas in mid- 2007, it didn't take long for residents of Ras Al Khaimah's Al Nakheel area to realise that a thief with alingerie fetish was on the loose. However, given the embarrassing nature of the theft, nobody reported the matter. Finally, an angry Egyptian woman who had seven briefs stolen in almost as many days decided enough was enough and alerted the authorities. A trap was set with CID sleuths putting up fancy women's underwear in houses around the vicinity as bait. The cops waited all night and just when they were about to call it a day, they saw a man walking around uncomfortably. It was a dead giveaway. When the 29-year-old was searched, the police found him wearing five sets of panties. Another five bags full of stolen lingerie were recovered from his closet.

  • Note-worthy
    Note-worthy

    If ever there was an award for honest thieves, this housemaid would have won it hands down. After stealing from her Moroccan employee, she left a very implicit note on his dining table. It read: "I stole $100 [about Dh367]." After she was caught the Dubai Court of First Instance sentenced her to three months in jail.