Crime Series Part 1 – The Dubai Burglary

Gentle Warning

Hey, readers! We recently came up with the idea of writing a few crime stories, real ones, not fictitious, mind you. Some of it could disturb you because the circumstances that the victims live in, may seem similar to the one you and your family live in. But do not be shaken. The very purpose of drafting this series is that apartment residents can be aware of the dangers that lurk around and how they can equip themselves to deal with such scenarios using the ADDA GateKeeper Platform.

We urge you to follow this series closely because who knows, when the pointers mentioned here could be of help to you or a family member.

Crime Series Part 1 – The Dubai Burglary

In the recent past, Hanadi Habib, a 32-year-old woman Indian expat experienced something that left her shaken for a long time. Ms. Habib who resides in an apartment named Arabian Ranches, came home one day to find that the door to their family room which leads outside, had been jammed.

Earlier that day, Ms. Habib had left to her parents home with her husband and baby. She spent the day at her parents’ home and returned several hours later. On returning home, the jammed door was enough to send alarm bells ringing in her head. The downstairs quarters of her home apparently remained untouched. When they rushed to check what could’ve happened, they noticed, with panic that the back door was wide open.

That’s when they realised that a burglar had broken in. Ms. Habib alerted the officials immediately. The house was thoroughly checked. And while some portions were untouched, the master bedroom had been ransacked. Cupboards were left open. The family with the help of officials confirmed that a few expensive items – a Rolex watch, a diamond tennis bracelet among others had been taken.

It is estimated that roughly AED 100,000 worth of stuff has been robbed from Ms. Habib’s residence. When the officials did a rough check, it was revealed that this had been one of 4 other burglaries which happened in a similar fashion in that city. Breaking into apartments while residents were away had been becoming increasingly common. It was also revealed that the security system in Arabian Ranches was quite lacking. Each block would have just one guard and no dependable CCTV surveillance system.

This Could Be Avoided

With ADDA GateKeeper App at the gate, all apartment residents get instant notifications on all visitors. Thus any unwanted visitor trying to enter giving false apartment numbers will also get caught even before they can get access to any apartment.

Also, photos of all visitors are captured at the gate. Thus any miscreant will think twice before planning any crime. The burglars in question here would have had a hard time trying to bypass the security at the gate to go in and steal things. Since their photo is also captured, any visitor would think twice before committing a crime because they know that they will be easily caught.

Doctor Found Murdered inside Apartment

A senior citizen doctor, was found murdered in his apartment in Chennai, in Jan 2017. No cash and valuables were reported missing.

As per the report in TOI, the police were still investigating the case. It was suspected that the murder may have been because of a money transaction which had gone bad. Police were also investigating the involvement of a maid in the incident.

In another case, an elderly woman was found murdered inside her home in an apartment complex. The incident came to light when the lady’s husband came home at the end of the day. According to the police, the assailants must have been known to her, otherwise she wouldn’t have given them admission inside the house.

The police was investigating the case when this case was reported in TOI.

Unknown Visitor Enters Complex, Commits Suicide

A 26 year old lady reportedly entered an apartment complex in Bangalore and committed suicide by jumping from the terrace.

The apartment complex where she committed suicide was a good 13 kms away from her residence. The police were not able to fathom why she chose a place for suicide, which was so far from her home. Also, no record of her entering the complex was found with the security guards.

The police hence suspected foul play involved and the death might be more than a suicide.

How did she manage to enter the apartment complex, climb till 13th floor unnoticed, whether she went to the apartment to meet someone, if so who was that, are the major points that the police were looking at regarding the case.

 

Nanny Rents Out Baby to Beggars While Parents are at work

Not keeping track of visitors coming in and going out of a housing society can be costly. A working couple in Bangalore found out that their kid was being smuggled out of their home and given to gangs to help in begging.

Soon after the couple would leave for office, the nanny would sedate the baby and pass on to beggars, while the nanny would stay at home, watch TV, sleep and eat.

The nanny was also hired through an employment agency, so the hire was supposed to be safe.

The horrifying incident came out when one day, the mother came home a bit early to find the child not at home, upon confronting the nanny, she confessed.

This news was reported in TOI.

Delivery Boys Attacks Senior Citizen Ransacks Apartment

A couple of delivery boys recently attacked and tried to burgle a senior citizen living alone in an apartment complex in Mumbai. The senior citizen succumbed to the injuries and passed away.

The delivery boys, however could not steal much as they were unable to open the cupboard inside the senior citizen’s residence and escaped from the scene.

The criminals were later arrested based on CCTV footages which captured them. This news was reported in Time of India.

Organised Crime Finds Haven in Apartment Complexes: Kochi

According to a report in The Hindu, around 40% of apartments in apartment complexes in and around central Kochi are vacant as these flats are owned by NRIs.

“About 40 per cent of these apartments are owned by Non-Resident Indians, which remain either unoccupied for long or have occasional occupancy. We have classified them as the most vulnerable to criminal activities, including flesh trade and rave parties,” explained a top police official.

Most of these apartments/condos are maintained by local caretakers or managers, who are often found misusing it. In many cases the tenants have been found subletting their apartments to others without permission from the original owners.

Recently in a raid to a particular apartment, officials seized 8 kg gold. The apartment was rented in the name of another woman. Similarly, the police last month arrested three techies with LSD drug from a flat rented to another person.

Apartment Burglary in rise in Mumbai

  1. A resident of Prithvi Heights, in Mumbai, Mr. Pravin Kumar came back home from his workplace and found his apartment had been burgled. Gold worth around Rs. 200,000 was stolen.
  2. In another case recently, 6 flats in Khar (East), Mumbai was burgled one after the other by the same gang. The burglars walked away with whatever valuables they could find in the buildings

Apartment complexes in Mumbai, which are supposed to be relatively safer places to stay, being gated communities and armed with security guards & CCTV cameras, are reporting more and more cases of crimes happening.

According to report in DNA, Mumbai, despite the security measures taken in housing societies, detection rate after crimes is as low as 32%. 

According to the police, for professional gangs it’s not hard for miscreants to gather knowledge on which apartments/condos are empty, the positions of CCTV cameras, etc from staff, service personnel to a complex. Thus many gangs are going in with knowledge regarding watchmen, the CCTVs’ position and vacant homes and are walking out scott free after conducting burglaries.

Kabbadi Champ Held for House Breakins Inside Apartment Complexes

Kobri Gopal, a national level Kabaddi player, to maintain his luxury lifestyle starting targeting and stealing from apartments in high end apartment complexes. He would only target apartments with at least 10 storeys.

On arriving at an apartment complex, he would gain entry by telling the security guard that he was visiting a friend. Generally it’s difficult to reach the resident and verify, as intercoms usually do not work, or the resident do not answer, the residents not being near the intercom.

Without a way to verify his claim, the security guards would generally allow him in. If the guard did not allow him inside, Gopal would argue with the guard till he was allowed inside.

He would proceed to the terrace and look for either empty houses or open balcony doors. He would then climb down sewage drains to gain access to the empty flats, steal and then escape.

He was arrested when a resident of an apartment complex, where he did a burglary chanced to see him on his way out and could provide his description to the police.

Visitor walks into Apartment Complex and starts Eve Teasing

This incident happened in an Apartment Complex from Gurgaon. An external person walked into the apartment complex without leaving any record at the gate. Whether the security guards missed stopping the person and asking him to make a record, or the person walked in by giving false contact details at the security gate is not known.

The visitor was later found eve-teasing inside the campus. As residents complained, the Management Committee members of the RWA and also the Security Guards tried to accost him. The miscreant managed to flee out of the campus and he ran into the neighbouring village.

The security guards of the apartment complex came back to the apartment complex, whereas one of the Management Committee members, chased the miscreant into the neighbouring village. The villagers caught hold of the MC member and started beating him up. The MC member was severely injured and ended up in the hospital.

Former Driver Throws Chilli Powder Steals Jewellery

A Driver who stopped working in an apartment complex, comes in after 6 months. Many apartment complexes provides identification cards to all the staff. This particular driver still had his ID card with him.

Most domestic staff do not inform the security guards if they stop working in the residential complex, and their ID cards are retained by them.

In this case, when the security guard asked which apartment he wanted to visit, the driver gave the right Apartment detail. Most Apartments do not have working intercoms so that the security guards could verify the visitors trying to enter. In case this case too, the security guard sees that the apartment details provided are fine and he lets the former driver in.

Once at the apartment, he throws chilly powder into the eyes of the elderly lady who is at home. He steals all her jewellery and runs away.

Though the former driver was caught 3 days later by the police, with proper security processes in place, such events can be stopped altogether.