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Criminal 'who attempted to reform asks court not to consider his past'

DUBAI // An unemployed man who tried to leave a criminal past behind asked a court to not consider his record after he admitted to attempted theft.

The 44-year-old Emirati pleaded guilty at Dubai Criminal Court to attempting to steal a safe containing valuables worth thousands of dirhams in August but said he had tried to be a law-abiding citizen.

“I had a previous criminal record, then I found a job at a company but after six months I was fired because of my criminal history. Please don’t consider my criminal past,” said the defendant.

Prosecutors said the safe, at a German man’s villa in Mirdif, contained three watches worth Dh67,000, Dh10,000 in cash, gold rings and necklaces worth Dh10,000 and documents.

The defendant broke into the villa while the owners were abroad. He found the safe in the bedroom and dragged it to the front of the villa before he heard a sound and got scared, so fled the scene.

A neighbour’s maid heard the window break next door.

“I woke up and heard a noise at the villa, which was supposed to be empty. The lights were on and I saw a man in black clothes in the house,” said the 32-year-old maid, who called police.​

An Emirati officer said that through DNA found on a hammer used in the break-in, they traced it to the defendant.

“We arrested him at his home, where we found a lot of stolen items from earlier robberies. He confessed to breaking in to the villa,” said the 51-year-old.

The next hearing is on December 28.

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The National