Shop owners on high alert following Abu Dhabi burglaries

Thieves smashed shop fronts and made off with cash, energy drinks, phone cards and cigarettes.

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, May 4, 2013:    Manager Khatim Jibran, center, at the Eid Grocery where they suffered 3,000 Dhs in damage when vandals broke their front window near the Eid Prayer ground in Abu Dhabi on May 4, 2013. Christopher Pike / The National
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ABU DHABI // Three smash-and-grab burglaries in the capital have business owners worried about who could be next.

Thieves smashed glass shopfronts and ran off with cash, cigarettes, phone cards and energy drinks from at least two groceries and a restaurant last week.

“They were searching for cash,” said Faisal Abdulkadir, the owner of Golden Night Baqala, whose grocery is near others that were robbed.

“If they don’t find cash, they take cigarettes and Red Bull, which are the costliest items in the shop.”

Mr Abdulkadir said businesses should be able to install a metal grill over their storefronts for safety. “Tomorrow maybe they will come into our shop,” he said. “People should be cautious about this.”

The burglaries affected businesses along the Muroor Road-Airport Road corridor between Delma Street and 23rd Street. All of them happened at night.

Indian Coffee House, a restaurant near Muroor Road, was burgled about a week ago. A glass panel was smashed and about

Dh1,000 in cash stolen, said the manager, Abdulhamid Valiyakath.

Replacing the glass was more expensive than the cash loss. He he spent Dh2,000 to fix the damage.

Eid Baqala, a grocery off Airport Road, was targeted on Tuesday, said the manager, Khatim Jibran. “In 30 years, this is the first time this has happened,” he said.

Only about Dh150 in cash and Dh300 in phone cards were stolen, but replacing the damaged shopfront cost Dh3,000.

A security camera in the shop was unable to capture clear images of the thieves because it was dark, he said.

Narjes Zuhra Grocery, near Muroor Road, was burgled four or five days ago, said the manager, Rasheed Muhamadunny.

It cost him Dh1,400 to replace the glass that was smashed at the shop’s back entrance, he said.

Thieves stole Dh350 in coins, four or five cases of Red Bull and 15 cartons of cigarettes.

Mr Muhamadunny’s grocery was also robbed about six months ago, he added. The last time, thieves broke the glass at the shop’s front entrance.

Police did not respond to requests for comment.