A crafty visitor to the UAE has been busted after collecting more than AED140,000 in a month through begging and stealing from shoppers at malls in the capital.
Abu Dhabi Police caught the 52-year-old Arab man red-handed after putting him under surveillance following complaints from shoppers.
A police officer told 7DAYS: “The man begged many customers and also stole money and valuables from others.”
Lieutenant Colonel Rashid Khalaf Al Dhaheri, head of Al Shaabiya Police Station, said cops began hunting for the man after receiving a complaint from a waitress at a cafe, who reported that her phone had been stolen.
“The woman gave the detectives a description of the person she suspected to have stolen her phone,” he said.
A team of officers was put together to track him down and officers spotted the suspect begging shoppers for money.
The officers searched the man’s bag and found stolen mobile phones, cash and money transfer receipts. “The suspect admitted that he got the money and mobile phones through begging and stealing from people at various malls,” said Brigadier Maktoum Ali Al Sherifi, chief of the Abu Dhabi Metropolitan Police.
He added the man also confessed to transferring more than AED131,000 of stolen cash to his home country during his month in the UAE. He was carrying a further AED12,000 in cash. The suspect has been referred to public prosecution.