(MENAFN - Arab News) Police arrested a seven-member gang who burgled jewelry worth SR3 million from a leading shop in the Balad district recently. Police also arrested 15 others who acted as salesmen for the stolen items.
"They were all of the same Arab nationality. While seven of them carried out the heist, the others sold the stolen goods in different places," Al-Madinah daily reported on Saturday.
Detectives tracked the thieves to their hideout in a south Jeddah district.
It was a week ago that the owner of the jewelry shop found his safes broken and a large part of gold and jewelry missing.
During the interrogation, the suspects told police that the gang members had divided their labor. Some studied the surroundings of the shop, while another group took care of the logistical matters, driving the safe-breakers to the shop and returning them to safety after the operation.
The thieves disconnected the power supply to the burglar alarm system in the shop. Their photos were also not available on the surveillance camera, because they had covered the lenses with a thick cloth before starting their operation. They used gas-powered cutting machines to break the doors and safes, a police source said.
Besides routine fingerprint collection and blood samples from the scene of crime, police sent detectives to suspicious locations including jewelry shops to get some clues about the criminals or the missing valuables. Police got information about two people who had sold some of the stolen articles. Police detained them and in the course of the interrogation the suspects confessed that they had only sold stolen goods worth SR20,000 and had not participated in the actual burglary.
However, police got vital information that the gang members used to meet at a yard in Al-Khomra neighborhood. A police force raided the facility and arrested seven suspects who were present there. The suspects also led the investigators to an old house in Bahrah town, about 55 kilometers on the Makkah Road, where most of the stolen jewelry were hidden. They also gave information about the others to whom they sold some of the stolen goods.