Abu Dhabi: Thieves are using a new tactic to steal from bank customers moments after withdrawing cash, a senior police official told Gulf News.
The official said one man had Dh2million stolen and warned bank customers to be extra vigilant when they withdraw cash.
Five theft cases have been reported in the last three months in Abu Dhabi and eight suspects are currently under investigation for stealing large amounts of money as well as personal documentations from bank customers.
The senior police official also revealed that 12 similar theft cases had been reported to the city's police since March.
"People withdrawing money from banks should not respond to strangers in the street," said the official.
"To date we have not heard of any aggression, usage of weapons or a murder, but if banks and people do not practice more caution, it can lead to that."
One of the victims was an Emirati businessman, who withdrew Dh2million from a bank.
As he was about to start his car, a man in his 20s told him that his rear tire needed checking.
Another man snatched the money that had been left unattended in the car. Both men then sped away.
In another case, a 43-year-old Filipina businesswoman had withdrawn Dh35,000 from a bank in the centre of Abu Dhabi.
Again, the victim left the bank, entered her car and placed her Louis Vuitton bag on the car's rear seat.
It had two envelopes inside containing the cash and documents.
She said: "As I was about to start my car a man knocked on my door loudly.
"I was shocked. I open my window to see what he needs and he tells me that something is dripping from the backside of my car.
"As I look to see what was wrong with the car, the man runs off and I witness a second man running off with him.
"Shortly after that I realise I had been robbed. More than Dh50,000 was gone along with all my personal belongings in the bag."
Shortly after the incident, the police arrived and the 43-year-old described the two men.
Her description matched that given by the Emirati businessman.
The 43-year-old, who has lived in Abu Dhabi for the past 20 years, said: "I advise people to practice caution and not to talk to strangers."
In another incident Mag, also a Filipina, was walking down Electra Street at 8.30pm carrying a wallet in her hand.
She had less than Dh300, personal documentations and a mobile phone with her.
She said she was mugged at Electra Street at the Capital centre.
"A man snatched my wallet and phone from my hand. I struggled with him to try to take them back, but surrendered the minute I found a weapon in his hand."
The robber had produced a knife.
Mag said: "I screamed twice, I was terrified, I could never imagine something like this would happen to me in the safe streets of Abu Dhabi.
"I reported my case to the police, but to date, the thief has not been caught."
Have you ever left a large amount of money unattended in your car? What safety measures do you take when withdrawing money from the ATM? Do you know anyone whose money was stolen in a similar theft? Fill in the form bellow to send your comments
Two guys attacked me while i was in my car getting ready to move. One man cut the tyre of my car, I saw him playing with the tyre so i went to check what he is doing, in the same moment the other one open the door of my car and took my bag and ran. I noticed him immediately and started shouting and screaming. They also had knives. Thankfully, a man followed him with his car until the thief dropped the bag on the street and run away. It was so scary and I never thought that this would happen in the middle of the day.
Posted: December 24, 2008, 14:17
With the rise in the rents and the credit crunch, such cases are for sure going to rise.
Posted: December 24, 2008, 13:16
I have withdrawn amounts upto Dh 100,000 on various occassions , kept them inside the car and moved around Abu Dhabi for the whole day in the past. From now on, I will have to be more careful.
Posted: December 24, 2008, 13:10
I withdrew Dh50,000 cash from the bank and placed the cash in the glove compartment of my car and drove the car to the DEWA office. I got out of the car and locked it. When I came back I found the car window broken and my money stolen.
Posted: December 24, 2008, 10:09