SR4.5m heist gang busted within 24 hours in Makkah

Jewelry and cash recovered from the thieves in Makkah displayed. (Courtesy of Sabq.org)

Jewelry and cash recovered from the thieves in Makkah displayed. (Courtesy of Sabq.org)

A gang of four Yemenis has been arrested for stealing an estimated SR4.5 million worth of jewelry from a gold store in Makkah’s Khanisa neighborhood on Friday.

The gang was arrested within 24 hours of the crime by field teams from the Criminal Investigation Department at the Makkah police.

According to earlier reports, the suspects entered the jewelry store on Friday evening by making a hole in the concrete wall and then using oxygen-fuel torch to cut through the steel walls.

After entering the shop, they cut the electrical wiring of a special device equipped with a camera used in jewelry shops, banks and government offices to monitor irregular activity.
They then stole several precious jewels. When the shop owners returned the next day, they were alarmed to see that the shop had been robbed.

Security teams immediately launched an investigation and examined forensic evidence at the scene, including fingerprints and security camera footage.

Police said the arrests were made under the direct supervision of Gen. Assaf Al-Quarashi, Makkah Police Department director, and after follow-up by Col. Mohammed Alwathiani, Criminal Investigation Department director.

The suspects were getting ready to split the stolen items among themselves when they were arrested.

Police found in their possession more than 25 kilograms of gold, jewelry and cash.
The suspects were transferred to the police department, where they were questioned and fingerprinted. All four men will soon be transferred to court.

Investigation revealed that the gang planned the theft by first visiting the store several times to examine the scene and familiarize themselves with the location.

They decided to execute the plan on Friday evening, knowing that the shop would be closed the following morning. Security authorities returned the stolen items to the shop owners.

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