Sharjah trader robbed by Iftar-time thieves

Cash box was unattended as staff had left to break their fast

Traders in the used car market in Sharjah’s Abu Shagara are worried about a group of bogus customers who stole Dh250,000  on Sunday evening from a used car shop by taking advantage of the low presence of traders and their staff just before breaking of the Ramadan fast.

Police have advised traders to be more cautious in handling thieves who, pretending to be busy customers, throng the used car outlets just before the close of business for Iftar.

“A group of customers approached a used car shop in Abu Shagara at around 5pm on Sunday and they started negotiating with the trader. As everybody in the market was preparing for Iftar, the trader was alone, counting the day’s collection. When the customers wanted the trader to show them various cars displayed for sale outside the shop, he left the cash counter and accompanied the customers,” said a source familiar with the daylight theft.

“While the trader was showing the cars to the customers, who were dressed as Oman citizens, one of the gang members took Dh250,000 while the others in the group were bargaining for the used cars,” the source said.

As other traders in the used car market were leaving their shops for Iftar, no one noticed the theft. It appears that thieves are targeting traders who are busy preparing for Iftar. The customers, who took away Dh 250000, were well dressed and well behaved and appeared to know a lot about automobiles.

“Now we are cautious about customers who visit us in the evening.

These are tough times for the used car business and losing Dh250,000 is a serious matter,” said a used car dealer in Abu Shagara.

“The customers who pretended to be Omanis were well behaved and spoke professionally about their requirements for a used car. They asked the trader  to show them the right car and they finally agreed to purchase one. However, they did not make the purchase, but promised to return soon,” the source added.

When the trader returned inside the shop, he realised that the money was missing from the drawer.  It appears that the thieves knew the normal functioning of the used car shop, the place where money was kept and the timings of their staff. Sharjah Police has started a search for the dubious customers.

Last month, an Indian building material trader in Deira was shot at in an attempt to rob the cash that his employee had withdrawn from a nearby bank a few hours earlier.

(Image courtesy Shutterstock)

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