Dubai: Four men have been accused of forming a gang that steals abandoned vehicles and selling them to bootleggers or car smugglers to use them for illegal purposes.
The quartet, aged between 24 and 31, were said to have specialised in driving around Dubai and Sharjah looking for abandoned cars, breaking their glass, reprogramming the switch engine, starting the cars and then stealing them during April 2015.
A businessman, who had left his 1998-model car in an open sandy spot, discovered that his car was missing and thought that the police had impounded it, said records.
The Pakistani businessman visited Dubai Police’s impoundment centre to check out on his car when he was informed that it had not been impounded.
Thereafter, the businessman complained to the police that his car had been stolen from Al Muhaisnah area at night.
Primary police interrogations led to the arrest of the four suspects — two Pakistanis, a Bangladeshi and a person who doesn’t hold personal identification documents.
The quartet had been involved in other car thefts that were carried out using the same modus operandi.
Prosecutors accused the quartet and other suspects, who remain at large, of stealing the businessman’s car worth Dh12,000.
According to the accusation sheet, prosecutors said the suspects abused the fact that the car had been abandoned for a long period before they stole it.
Prosecutors said each of the suspects was specialised in a certain mission. A suspect broke the glass, another suspect reprogrammed the switch engine, a third suspect started the car, while a fourth transported the stolen vehicle on a tow truck.
Jail wardens did not bring the suspects from their detention and present them before the Dubai Court of First Instance where they were scheduled to enter their pleas on Wednesday.
The Pakistani businessman testified to prosecutors that he lodged a theft complaint after he was informed that his car had not been impounded.
A policeman claimed to prosecutors: “Primary interrogations revealed that there was a gang of seven members specialised in stealing cars in Sharjah and Dubai. Sharjah Police had apprehended some of the gang members. Four of the suspects were handed over to Dubai Police. During questioning, the suspects admitted that they used to choose the cars meant to be stolen, steal them and then sell them to bootleggers or car smugglers to smuggle them out of the country
The trial continues.