190309 sharjah robbery3
A still image of the assailants attacking one of the staff members during the attempted hold-up on March 2 at a Lulu Hypermarket along Al Wahda Street in Sharjah. Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: Sharjah Police have arrested two African men within minutes of their audacious armed attempt to rob a busy hypermarket in Sharjah, Gulf News has learnt.

The incident took place at the LuLu Hypermarket on Al Wahda Road at 11.42pm on March 2.

Brigadier Mohammad Rashid Bayat, director of Sharjah Police Operations, said, ”The police received a call about two masked men attacking the hypermarket staff, following which we reached the site in record time. Both the robbers were arrested.”

Supplied

According to video footage available with Gulf News, the two masked suspects attacked the hypermarket’s cashiers and tried to flee with the cash box. But the hypermarket staff put up a fight. With the police rushing to the scene, one of the suspects was immediately arrested. The other who managed to run away was also nabbed by the CID in less than five minutes. Prompt action by the police ensured there was no escape.

The duo who are now behind bars are awaiting their first court appearance.

Supplied

Sources told Gulf News that the robbers attacked the staff at the hypermarket’s payment Counter 17 which was among the six counters at the rear of the market.

Two staff members sustained minor injuries while resisting the robbers. They received treatment immediately.

Sources said the staff who put up a valiant fight were able to restrain one of the robbers with the cash box.

In the video, the two suspects can be seen entering the hypermarket wearing masks and hoodies. One of them, who appears to be wielding a butcher knife, confronts a security guard, while the other has a hammer-like object, with which he repeatedly hits the cash machine. A shopper, a man with an infant in the shopping trolley can be seen near one of the cashiers. After seeing the robbery unfold, the man grabs the child and runs away.

Meanwhile, the cashier, after initially backing off, confronts the suspect, holding on to him and not letting go despite receiving several blows from the suspect. Other staff members come to the employee’s aid and together manage to subdue the suspect. The other suspect with the weapon can be seen hesitating to strike the cashier who held onto his accomplice before making a dash and disappearing from the view of the camera.

Recent robbery attempt arrests

January 2019: A gang of nine men accused of an armed robbery attempt of a car transporting money in Dubai is arrested

December 2018: A man is handed a life sentence and four others given 15-year prison terms for robbing a bank in Sharjah as part of an armed robbery

July 2018: Three men believed to be involved in an armed robbery at a money exchange office in Fujairah are arrested

October 2017: A man is arrested by Sharjah Police for allegedly assaulting and robbing petrol station attendants

July 2017: A suspect, armed with a knife, who attempted to rob a money exchange in Abu Dhabi is arrested by police