Gulf news Jumeirah villa burglary gang lose appeal against 3-year sentences

Jumeirah villa burglary gang lose appeal against 3-year sentences

DUBAI // Three out of a four-member gang convicted for burglaries have lost their appeal against three-year sentences.

The gang, made up of an American, a Colombian and two Mexicans, broke into unoccupied homes in Jumeirah, prosecutors said.

One Mexican was acquitted while the other three were found guilty and sentenced to three years in jail each by Dubai Criminal Court.

In July last year, they broke into an empty villa and stole jewellery, a number of diamond sets and other valuables worth Dh1.5 million.

The four faced charges of armed robbery, trespassing and damaging property, which they denied in both the criminal and appeals court.

One was also charged with aiding and abetting but he was found not guilty of all charges against him, while his co-accused were convicted of all charges.

Details of other burglaries were not revealed in court.

One gang member was also convicted of multiple additional charges, including forging an Abu Dhabi Airport stamp on a Spanish passport, which he was intending to use to flee the country. Another related to forging the passport by adding a false stamp and by falsifying its personal data page.

He was also convicted of damaging a police patrol car and endangering the life of a police captain by running him over with his car.

The 36-year-old Jumeirah villa owner, from India, left the country on July 1 for a one-week visit to his homeland and, when he returned, he saw the lock to his door was broken.

He found his home in a mess and he checked the safe and found it had been forced open and all the valuable items inside it stolen.

He called police and, two days later, he was called into a police station, where he was shown the jewellery that was stolen from his house.

The defendants were tracked down through the rental car they drove to the villa.

"We found them living in a flat in Sharjah. During the raid, two were at the flat while the third came in the middle of it, driving a rented Range Rover," said an Emirati police captain, 33.

He added that the driver crashed into a police car and tried to run over another police captain.

He said the third defendant fled on foot but was arrested.

"The fourth gang member was arrested the next day, on July 9, as he tried to exit the country," added the captain.

The convicted trio will be deported after serving their prison terms.