Gang of bike-riding phone snatchers caught

By Fahad Al Ghadani — MUSCAT: April 2 – The Royal Oman Police (ROP) have uncovered a novel modus operandi employed by a three-member gang of alleged thieves to snatch mobile phones from the grasp of their victims. According to an official source at the North Al Batinah Police Command, the culprits — all teenagers aged 16-17 years — used motorbikes to prowl the streets of Suhar looking for their victims. Approaching their intended prey on two-wheelers, they simply seized the phones from the grip of their owners and sped off before an alarm could be raised. All three culprits have been arrested and referred to Public Prosecution for further investigation pending their trial.

News of the phone-snatching spree was widely discussed on social media with some commentators blaming their parents for not keeping a close watch on their wayward children. “What’s particularly shocking is that the arrested are mere teenagers who may have received their inspiration for crime movies or television,” said Ali al Balushi, a native of Suhar. Parents, he added, should be concerned enough to monitor what their children watch on television. Saif al Wishahi, who lives in nearby Shinas, lamented that children indulging in criminal activities are likely unaware of the consequences of their actions. “Disinterest in education combined with a lack of parental supervision is partly to blame,” he said.

It is worth mentioning that crime rate in Oman fell 17 per cent to 18,860 cases in 2015, down from 22,624 cases a year earlier. Around 75 per cent of the cases were committed by illegal migrants.