Using a deceptive technique, one man and his partner in crime have successfully stolen millions of Lebanese pounds without being caught… Until recently.
The General Directorate of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces issued a statement on Friday, June 5th, announcing the arrest of “A.A” (ع.ع) and “J.Q” (ج.ق) for committing hundreds of thefts across all Lebanese governorates.
Initially, “A.A” worked alone, and “J.Q” joined him as a driver later in his criminal journey.
The ISF explained that the duo would systematically drive around different Lebanese areas to avoid detection and the thief would ask oblivious employees, at gas stations, for example, for change for a 100,000 LBP or $100 bill.
Then, as the exchange process takes place, the perpetrator swiftly and subtlely snatches some of the victim’s money without them noticing.
Because they do not stick to one location, and because these thefts generally went undetected due to their professional execution, the two criminals were able to stay under the radar for a long time.
The ISF said that each of the numerous thefts that they had committed earned them between 100,000 LBP and 1,000,000 LBP.
After three months of constant surveillance and tracking, the ISF’s South Survey Detachment finally identified the criminals’ identities as well as their adopted routes between each “score.”
Finally, on Monday, May 29th, a police squad ambushed the duo as they were driving their car. Startled, they attempted to flee against the traffic on the wrong side of the road.
While at it, the thieves crashed into a number of cars and the squad had to shoot their car’s tires to stop them. In the end, they were both arrested with one of the perpetrators having a minor injury.
One of the detainees was revealed to have been wanted for “theft, robbery, counterfeiting, pickpocketing, and possession of weapons and ammunition.”
Both thieves admitted to committing hundreds of thefts across Lebanon.
“The ISF asks those who have fallen victim to these criminals and have come to identify them to appear at the Sidon Judicial Detachment Center in the Judicial Police Unit located in Sidon/Tell Mar Elias,” the statement advised.
Otherwise, they can call the numbers 07/754308 or 07/754309.
The ISF also warns citizens “not to hand over their money to anyone during a money exchange process,” to avoid it getting stolen without the owner realizing it.