Sharjah: An Indian woman found herself in a sticky situation last Sunday when a beggar superglued her car doors because she had turned him away.
Nazia Khan, 25, and her nieces, ages 14, 10 and 4 remained locked out of the car for nearly two hours before attendants from a gas station were called to prise open the jammed doors with special tools.
Nazia’s harrowing ordeal started moments after she stopped at the McDonald’s outlet on Al Ittihad Road in Sharjah for a quick bite around 8pm. As she stepped out, she was accosted by a middle-aged beggar asking for money.
“He was limping. I had fallen for the leg wound infection ruse earlier, so I ignored him, but he remained persistent and followed us briskly. It was clear he was faking an injury so I shooed him away. He muttered under his breath and headed to the spot where my car was parked. When I turned back, I saw him standing near the vehicle, but I didn’t think much of it,” recalled Nazia who works at Dubai Media City.
A nasty surprise awaited her when she returned half-an-hour later and tried to get inside the car. Try as hard as she could, the doors just wouldn’t open.
“I pulled the driver’s side door handle, but it wouldn’t budge. I thought I was mistakenly opening somebody else’s car so I double-checked the registration plate. I tried the other doors… they were sealed too. Only the boot was spared. It was only when I peered closely did I realise that the doors had been superglued.
“The glue was all over the doors — inside the locks, along the hinges. It had hardened like steel and just wouldn’t come out. I rang up Sharjah Police to report the vandalism but they refused to come to my aid or take my complaint,” said Nazia, who then approached attendants at the nearby Emarat gas station to help her unlock the doors.
As they struggled to open the doors, she looked around searching for the beggar. “He just vanished. I went to both MacDonalds and Emarat hoping their CCTV cameras would have caught the man in the act. But they refused to share the footage.
Nazia said she is shocked the beggar would wreak vengeance this way. “It will cost a lot of money to remove the glue but I am glad nothing happened to us. I dread to think what might have happened if the beggar had left us stranded in a deserted area. There were kids with me…”
The Sharjah police are urging people to report beggars who come from abroad as part of an elaborate begging racket. Residents have been asked to report them on toll free numbers 800151, 80080 and 800243. In Dubai, the Director of Tourist Police Department is even contemplating rewarding residents who report beggars.
As many as 65 beggars including seven women and a juvenile dressed as a woman have been caught in Dubai since the launch of a police campaign.