Policemen 'stabbed by family of jewel thief'

The officers were attacked by the woman and her three sons when they entered their home to search for evidence, police say.

DUBAI // Three police officers attempting to search the villa of a man suspected of stealing millions of dirhams worth of jewels were attacked with knives by his mother and brothers, police say.

"The officers were attacked by the woman and her three sons, all in their twenties," on Saturday, said Lt Col Ahmed al Merri, the head of Criminal Investigation at Dubai Police. "She and one son used knives and stabbed the policemen, while the others used only their hands in the attack."

The mother, ZA, pulled out a knife from under her clothes and stabbed the head of the unit in the upper part of his left leg, Col al Merri said. He said the one son, SA, in his early 20s, stabbed an officer in the stomach and the hand and also injured another policeman. The eight-member unit was ordered to search the villa for jewellery worth more than Dh4 million after an investigation into a series of house robberies across the city in July led police to a suspect, AA.

Officers put the AA under surveillance and say they caught him stealing a safe. He is said to have confessed to two thefts, was arrested and referred to public prosecution. While he was awaiting trial, two similar thefts were reported. The family home was searched, but nothing was found. Convinced he was behind the crimes, police placed the home under surveillance and, on September 25, saw his mother enter the house carrying a black suitcase.

After obtaining search approval, police tried to enter the house, but the mother called for her sons to attack the officers. Once the situation was brought under control, police searched the house and recovered the bag, which, they said, was found to contain stolen jewellery. The three wounded officers were taken to Rashid Hospital for surgery to their injuries. All three are in a stable condition in intensive care.

The mother and one son, SA, are facing charges of attempted murder, possession of stolen jewellery, attempting to obstruct justice and verbal assault.