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Spate of vehicle thefts in Riyadh.

Byline: M. Ghazanfar Ali Khan

RIYADH: A car belonging to the Bangladeshi Embassy was recently stolen in broad daylight as the driver stood beside it. This was just one incident in a spate of car thefts in the capital this week.

"I can't believe how quick it happened; a young boy came out of nowhere and dashed against the car from the backside. As the driver came out, the youth jumped into the driver's seat and sped away," said Haroonor Rasheed, spokesman for the Bangladeshi Embassy.

Rasheed said that the driver, Sakhawat Hussain, left the car's keys inside the vehicle. The young thief sped off along with two of his accomplices, he added.

The embassy has lodged a complaint at the Olaya police station, but the car, which belongs to the mission's labor section, has not been found so far.

Nine cars have been reportedly stolen in Riyadh this week alone. A brand new car belonging to Budget Rent-A-Car was stolen yesterday.

"A Toyota car with the plate number WNR 256 was stolen on Monday morning by some miscreants. We've no idea where the car has been taken," said Bakhtiyar Khan, an employee at Budget's office on Dabbab Street.

Khan said that car thieves were particularly active during the long summer break and that two cars, one belonging to the company and another to an employee, were stolen from the office of Hana Al-Meshari Est. last week. He added that the cars were later found in a bad shape.

Khan said he was shocked by the boldness of the thieves, who also entered the company's villa and stole office equipment, including four mobile phones and a printer.

Naeem Jameel, a Pakistani executive whose friend's car was recently stolen in the Wazarat district said, "Riyadh has become one of the Kingdom's car-theft hotspots... I think Riyadh has the highest rate of vehicle thefts."

He added that five districts in the city have been identified as notorious for car thefts. Most cars are stolen by youths for joy riding.

Copyright: Arab News A[umlaut] 2003 All rights reserved.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:Aug 6, 2008
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