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Monday, November 29, 2021

Qatar resident recounts recent home burglary as cautionary tale

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

While the crime rate in Qatar remains relatively low compared to other growing world cities, incidents do still occur.

One expat family whose house was burgled earlier this week while they slept upstairs, has shared its experience with Doha News to warn residents not to be too complacent with security measures.

British resident Steve has lived in the same standalone villa in Ain Khalid for nine years, and has never previously had any safety issues.

However, on Monday night, his home was broken into while he, his wife Maria, 12 year-old son and nine year-old daughter were asleep.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The thieves forced open a downstairs window, and stole several expensive pieces of technology, including an iPad, laptop, cameras, Sony PlayStation and a number of PlayStation games, which they had removed from their cases.

According to Steve, the robbers placed the stolen goods into his daughter’s school backpack before they made their exit over the back wall of the house.

The family only became aware of the situation in the morning, when they awoke and went downstairs, he said.

Police are currently investigating the incident, which is believed to be a crime of opportunity and is unlikely to have been done by professional thieves, as footprints and fingerprints were left around the crime scene.

Be safe

While not wishing to be alarmist, Steve, a 45 year-old construction consultant, told Doha News that he wanted to remind residents to take basic safety precautions with their homes:

“We knew the lock on our window was faulty. We tried to fix it with a metal plate, but if you were to push the window hard, the plate would fall out. And that’s what seems to have happened here,” he said.

“We were lucky. We weren’t disturbed and so didn’t try to confront the burglar. We are shocked and the children are particularly upset that their things have been taken, but physically we are all fine, thankfully.

“But this was an awakening for us. We have been in this house for nine years and nothing has happened. We were maybe a bit complacent,” he added.

While not wanting to unnecessarily worry people, Steve said he wanted his family’s experience to remind people to take basic precautions.

“It’s true there is very little crime here, but there is still crime. These things can happen. It’s easy to get complacent. No matter how safe you feel, you still need to be aware and vigilant. You can’t take security for granted.

Qatar is still an exceptionally safe place, but you need to take common sense precautions, as you would do if you lived in any other city.”

Rising crime rate

A few years ago, Qatar released government figures that showed the crime rate jumped from 320 crimes per 100,000 people in 2001 to 2,355 crimes in 2010.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The 2011 Sustainable Development Indicators report attributed the rising crime rate to the “arrival of numerous number of people from all over the world, in addition to the development occurred to the techniques followed by criminals, which are extrinsic crimes and deeds, that were not common or known previously by the Qatari society.”

More recently, the United States Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security released a Crime and Safety Report last February detailing robbery figures in Qatar.

It noted that the country’s burglary rate is 25 per 100,000 inhabitants – well below the global average of 100 per 100,000 people. However, the report advised that the rate of break-ins is slowly increasing:

“The Embassy’s Regional Security Office has assessed prospects for potential crime increases in Qatar over the next 36 months and believes that low level illegal activity will likely continue to increase over time, both in frequency and level of sophistication.”

Reported burglaries in Qatar are still relatively rare compared to other countries, where such incidents do not make the news.

car-window.jpg-771x511 (1)
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Periodic spates of car break-ins do take place.

In March last year, there were several reports of cars being broken into across Doha, while a number of residents complained about stolen handbags after leaving their cars unlocked while they collected their children from nurseries across town.

Additionally, in October 2013, a longterm British resident shared her story of having her purse and several thousands of riyals stolen from her locked car in her residential car park in Al Sadd.

In a bid to encourage others to take safety precautions, the woman said: “The lessons here are ones that I have had to learn the hard way – take care of your belongings, don’t think your car is safe or secure anywhere.”

Thoughts?

28 COMMENTS

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Thommo
Thommo
6 years ago

It is never good reading about someone being broken into as this is a terrible invasion of privacy, lets hope they catch the culprits…. Other suggestions in security would be get a dog, there are loads requiring re-homing and they make so much noise if they hear anything.

sadam
sadam
6 years ago

in other news
50,000 more Bangladeshis to take on Qatar jobs in next three months

Anon
Anon
6 years ago
Reply to  sadam

I see what you did there. Racist generalizations tend not to be that funny anymore.

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
6 years ago
Reply to  sadam

Deleting for irrelevance

Abdulrahman Al-Thani
Abdulrahman Al-Thani
6 years ago

PLEASE DELETE THIS STORY before my mother calls me and nags me about personal safety.

I’m hardcore G. Okay, I aint scared.

Anon
Anon
6 years ago

Country with rapidly growing population (and a large number of disaffected, poorly treated employees living in bad conditions without the pay they may have been promised) has an increase in its crime rate……..not in the least bit surprising. It is, of course, still much safer than most other countries in the world.

Michael L
Michael L
6 years ago

we had our villa broken into twice in the same week 5 years ago … fingerprints were left … the police came and proceeded to do absolutely nothing …. bars on the windows with internal locks should solve the problem …

Guest
Guest
6 years ago

I’m probably just being paranoid but I have never felt that my home was safe here

brorick
brorick
6 years ago
Reply to  Guest

im the opposite, when im here i leave my house door open, mobile and wallet on table and not really care.
But when i go back to the UK…i feel uneasy doing any of that.

Jimarchy
Jimarchy
6 years ago
Reply to  brorick

I left my door unlocked last night by mistake and woke at 3:30am to find it wide open…. it looks like nothing was taken but I suggest you do lock your doors at night.

greylag
greylag
6 years ago
Reply to  Jimarchy

The neighbor’s cat can open our door, if it’s not locked! Always lock up at night.

Jam
Jam
6 years ago
Reply to  Guest

Months ago, 2 friends of mine saw a man doing something “bizarre”(m…g) outside of their main door. The man tried to get closer to them, but Ms. X was able to pick up a stone and aimed at the man. He ran..

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Haha he gets burgled and then says there is very little crime here. There is a difference between actual crime and reported crime. Don’t let anyone fall into the trap of feeling you are safe from crime in Qatar. Take precautions as you would do anywhere, Ladies especially, rape is not taken seriously

alz
alz
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

there might be difference between reported crime and actual crime but still Qatar is one of the safest places to live.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  alz

Have you ever driven on the roads here?

Nuremburg
Nuremburg
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

If drivers are taken into consideration, then Doha is about as safe as Caracas.

shahid
shahid
6 years ago
Reply to  alz

I agree, Qatar is one of the safest places in whole region. no doubt abt it

Michael
Michael
6 years ago

Last year our window was forced opened while we were asleep, but nothing was stolen! The police wasn’t even bothered to turn up! Nothing more to say!

Not Drinking The Cool-Aid
Not Drinking The Cool-Aid
6 years ago

my car was broken into in my basement garage and three separate neighbors had break-ins in the building. There is certainly crime in Doha, we just don’t normally hear about it

Galaxy Phoenix
Galaxy Phoenix
6 years ago

There was two guy come inside our gate villa last Tuesday only. It was the first time somebody come inside without our Camp Supervisor. Good thing we saw them immediately then suddenly went out rushing but we wasn’t able to confront them due to confusion. We realize that they might be checking ways or planning something bad or anything (Stealing).
Thanks for this news that made us alarming.

Turkish
Turkish
6 years ago

My door open 24 hours. i don’t care. Qatar most safe country… People happy here With sunshine…

Joe
Joe
6 years ago

in the land of sugar, rainbows and honey….CRIME ?…..LOL.

Ali
Ali
6 years ago

I couldn’t go beyond the part where they took out the games from the cover and stole them hahahahah who does that?

Nuremburg
Nuremburg
6 years ago

Is it the rich Qataris breaking into peoples houses then? Are they stealing TVs and iPhones and speeding off in their Lamborghinis in the dead of night?
It’s the increasing number of poor and unemployed which is responsible for the increase in crime.

Abdulrahman Al-Thani
Abdulrahman Al-Thani
6 years ago
Reply to  Nuremburg

So are a lot of the western kids that come here. A lot dabble in small scale drug dealing, car theft, public drunkenness and destruction of public property. I’ve known and seen a lot of them do that and they do it mostly for fun.

We can generalize all we want but theft is not solely a crime committed by the poor.

Nuremburg
Nuremburg
6 years ago

I agree with both of your main points. However, general social patterns point towards an increase in crime rate being associated with poverty & unemployment. On the other hand, I am not quite aware of Qatar’s case, but worldwide; an increase in immigrants typically results in lower or steadying crime rates. This doesn’t apply to poor or unemployed immigrants, obviously.

harrypotter
harrypotter
6 years ago

I once had an experience on such incident last year, when i left my Mobile phone on my bed and went into the shower but to my greatest surprise after the shower i never found the mobile phone till today cos my door wasn’t locked. i saw it as my own carelessness and had to take precautions always since then

Scarletti
Scarletti
6 years ago

this is so true – I came to Qatar, and within months found by liberty, freedom of expression and simple human rights had all been taken

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