Abu Dhabi: A man posing as a jewellery shop customer threw chilli powder at salesmen before fleeing with gold ornaments worth Dh16,000.
Al Mussaffah Jewellery store at Musaffah in Abu Dhabi was targeted at around 10.30am on Monday.
The shop’s Indian owner Ashraf Mohammad told Gulf News yesterday: “The robber escaped with gold ornaments worth about Dh16, 000,”
“The man looked like a South Asian in his late twenties or early thirties, he was wearing a pyjama and kurta [loose trouser and shirt].
“He first visited the shop on Sunday night and selected some ornaments. He told the salesmen he was going back home the next day [Monday] on holiday for his wedding.”
The thief claimed he didn’t have the full amount to settle the bill of Dh16,575 but his brother would bring the extra cash.
As it was closing time, around 10.30pm, the man agreed to come back with the cash the next morning and collect the gold ornaments.
With the owner away, two salesmen met the man at the shop the next morning.
But they described how the man acted suspiciously when he arrived, keeping his right hand in his pocket.
When asked for the cash, he threw chilli powder on the salesmen and ran away with the ornaments.
The men were in too much pain to hit the police emergency alarm button.
One of them, Aneesh, told Gulf News: “My eyes were totally filled with the chilli powder, there was severe pain and I could not see anything at all.”
The other worker, a senior store assistant, T. Rajan, told us his eyesight wasn’t impaired as he was wearing glasses.
T. Rajan, who bravely chased after the thief, said: “I ran after him for a few minutes, some other people joined me but he disappeared somewhere near a building.”
Police rushed to the scene and started investigating.
The CCTV cameras at the shop didn’t capture the incident due to a technical error but police found a plastic cover from the chilli powder with a sticker from a nearby supermarket where CCTV captured the man buying it that morning.
“We identified him from the footage and gave a statement to police accordingly,” the salesmen added.