| 16 August, 2017

Man wore abaya in bid to rob ATM

Image used for illustrative purpose. A man uses an ATM machine at a bank in Baghdad March 4, 2012.

Image used for illustrative purpose. A man uses an ATM machine at a bank in Baghdad March 4, 2012.

REUTERS/Mohammed Ameen
16 August 2017

A Bahrain resident dressed in women’s clothing to hide his identity as he attempted to break open an ATM machine, a court heard.

The 30-year-old Pakistani national blinded surveillance cameras with a spray and used tools to break into the machine belonging to a bank in Busaiteen.

He entered the facility wearing an abaya and niqab (face veil), but he fled the scene when the alarms went off. He has been jailed for 12 months but has lodged an appeal against his conviction at the High Criminal Appeals Court.The defendant, a Civil Defence employee, told prosecutors during questioning that he stole another vehicle’s number plate and placed it on his car before heading to the location of the ATM machine.

“After stealing the licence plate number I wore an abaya, niqab and gloves and headed to the ATM machine in Busaiteen,” he said in his statement to the Public Prosecution. “I sprayed the surveillance camera with black spray and used a screw driver to open the ATM machine. “Suddenly, the alarm went off and I panicked and quickly ran to my car. ”Police tracked down the defendant after questioning the owner of the vehicle that had its number plate stolen.

When he appeared in court, the defendant pleaded with judges to reduce his sentence because his family did not have anyone else to financially support them. “I know what I have done is wrong and I regret it,” he said. “I only attempted to take the money from the ATM machine due to my poor financial situation – I have a wife and six children and did not know how to support them. “I request the court to use sympathy in handing out the ruling because I am the only breadwinner in the family.

”Meanwhile, a bank official described how they intervened once they received an alarm signal. “If anyone covers the surveillance camera at the ATM machine we get a signal immediately,” said the 30-year-old Bahraini. “We immediately viewed the footage and saw a person in an abaya and a niqab spraying the camera. “We then stopped the ATM from working and alerted authorities. ”The defendant’s appeal at the High Criminal Appeals Court was adjourned to September 9 for the surveillance footage to be submitted as evidence.

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