Thefts in Lebanon Are Increasing at Unprecedented Levels

Lebanon’s economy is plummeting, that’s no secret. Banks are limiting the withdrawal of people’s deposits and assaults on banks increase as the situation keeps getting worse by the day.

The shortage of US dollars and the drop in cash injections from Lebanese diaspora have reflected greatly on the economic plunge.

Shortage in the US dollar has resulted, in turn, in an increase in dollar conversion rates, causing more unrest amongst the Lebanese people.

Of course, let’s not forget about the increase in the unemployment rates that were already high, to begin with. For the past few months, many shops, stores, restaurants, and bars have closed down and let go of their employees due to the worsening economic situation. 

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According to The World Bank, poverty in Lebanon is reported to be at 30 percent and is expected to go up to 50, while experts like Pierre Al-Khoury expect it to go up all the way to 80.

It comes as no surprise in situations like these that incidences of crime and theft show an increase. Thefts have seen a remarkable upsurge in an unprecedented manner in Lebanon.

However, experts are pointing out at a different reason for the current thefts. Poverty is not the one, not yet, according to them.

That is explained by Pierre Al-Khoury, a researcher in public affairs, education administration, and economic sectors, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Lebanese Economic Association:

“These incidents are not a result of poverty. These are organized crimes because burglars are aiming for rich people, and they are well aware that people are storing their money and valuable belongings in their houses.”

Poverty thefts are soon to follow, and they will be more public, as he explained.

According to Pierre Al-Khoury, this surge in theft incidents is due to the fact that thieves are aware that Lebanese people are storing large amounts of cash money in their houses.

This home banking is due to the loss of confidence in the banking sector.

Tens of thefts have been reported all over Lebanon in just a few days. Some were the face of the news more than others like that of the break-in incident that occurred at the house of Lebanese singer Nancy Ajram on Sunday. 

In another incident, a burglar was arrested after stealing 100 million LBP from a company in Choueifat.

More than two pharmacies in the north have been stolen at gunpoint, a gas station was robbed in Dahr Laissine in Akkar, and theft attempt was reported in a villa in Zahle, and so on. The news has no shortage of stories about thefts occurring daily. 

Safir Al-Shemal newspaper reported that, in the governorate of Akkar, residents are complaining of ongoing thefts carried out by professional gangs on motorcycles and cars raiding their homes at night and dawn.

The police have not been able yet to apprehend these gangs, and citizens are adopting self-security to protect themselves and their property.

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