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[May 04, 2014]
Trio deny Dh4.3m school heist [Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)]
(Gulf News (United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Dubai: A rental car's GPS device helped police track down three unemployed men accused of breaking into a school and stealing Dh4.3 million in cheques and Dh44,200 in cash.
The three men, two Yemenis and a Saudi, were said to have forced their way into the school's accounts department, broke open the safe and stole 654 cheques worth Dh4.3 million together with cash in October 2013.
"The car rental office provided the police with the route the car took after the heist. The tracking device clearly showed that the car was parked in front of the school during the night when the heist took place. The Saudi defendant was the first suspect who was arrested considering that he had rented the vehicle," a police lieutenant told prosecutors.
Prosecutors charged the Yemenis, 25-year-old M.S. and 30-year-old A.M., and the 33-year-old Saudi, Y.S., with breaking and entering and theft.
The defendants were also charged with causing Dh3,300 worth of damage to the school's office equipment.
The school's assistant principal testified to prosecutors that the secretary told him about the heist on a Friday afternoon.
"The culprits broke the safe and took Dh44,200 cash from envelopes and 654 cheques that totalled Dh4.3 million. The security guards were asleep when the suspects sneaked into the schoolâ€¦ when they failed to open the accounting department's door from inside, they went back to the schoolyard and broke the window. Then they climbed into the department and stole the cash and cheques," he told prosecutors.
Meanwhile the police lieutenant testified that CCTV footage showed two men holding torches and trying to open the department's door.
"Following the defendants' arrest, we seized Dh8,000 with M.S., Dh12,750 with A.M. and Dh10,967 with Y.S. Police also confiscated the rental car, in which we seized iron cutters, a hammer, six screwdrivers, pliers, gloves and masks that the defendants used during the heist. The defendants alleged during questioning that they used the tools during another school heist in Umm Al Quwain," said the lieutenant.
The suspects pleaded not guilty before the Dubai Court of First Instance on Sunday.
A ruling will be heard on May 14.
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