Download the FREE SBS Radio App for a better listening experience
After being robbed for the fifth time, Pakistani business owner Zeeshan Ahmed took matters into his own hands to help apprehend the thieves.
An optometrists shop in Dallas, Victoria has been repeatedly targeted five times by thieves between January and May this year causing more than $50,000 in damages.
The most recent attack happened on May 8th at around 6:20 am when a person broke and opened the front gate of the business premises. A second person reversed a blue Mazda into the driveway of the property.
The first person who can be seen in a high-vis vest took some tools out of the boot and proceeded to break into the shop. A third person wearing a grey hoodie can be seen getting out of the front passenger side to act as a lookout.
Zeeshan Ahmed, owner of the shop told SBS Urdu that at this time he was alerted via the motion sensors of the camera security system installed at the premises.
Still in his pyjamas, he got in his car and rushed to the shop while informing the police of the thieves’ movements over the phone.
“I don’t live that far from the shop and got there in two minutes,” said Ahmad.
“He [the thief] was so smart, he knew the soft targets. We had three layers of security on the front and back door; the windows also had shutters installed.
“He broke the shutter from its root, smashed the windows and that’s how he got in.” he further added.
Within a matter of a few minutes, the thieves stole what they could and drove off thinking they had got away with another successful robbery for the fifth time.
However, this time Ahmed was waiting across the road waiting for the police to arrive, but when he saw them driving off, he decided to take matters in his own hands.
Ahmad chased the robbers for a kilometer down the road and when they were about to take a turn he rammed his car into theirs.
The airbags went off and the thieves’ abandoned their car to take off on foot.
Two houses down from this crash a 60-year-old lady was getting ready to leave for work.
While reversing in her driveway one of the three thieves grabbed the lady and threw her out of the car onto the concrete.
After stealing the lady’s car the thieves continued their attempt to escape when Ahmad once again rammed his car into them.
“I chased them for another 10 kilometers on the Hume Highway. Luckily no one got hurt. I lost them closer to Fawkner police station as they were driving recklessly,” explained Ahmad.
Police arrived at the scene of the incident and found the identity of one of the thieves in the first getaway vehicle which eventually led to the arrest of a 21-year-old man.
“After the third and fourth robbery incident, the police had indicated to me that they were suspecting someone but did not have enough evidence to charge them. The final straw was finding the identification of the robbers which led to the arrest,” said Ahmed.
A 21-year-old Wollert man was arrested for the burglary, Senior Constable Ben Redwood told SBS Urdu.
“He has been charged with burglary and carjacking and remanded to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court at a later date,” said Constable Redwood
Ahmed believes that incidents like this do shake you up but the same thing happening for the fifth time was very frustrating. He has not let his security measures or guards down.
“I am satisfied that the person has been caught at least…[My] family has been very supportive they are not shaken but very satisfied that the perpetrator has finally been caught.
“There remains a fear that people related to robber might attempt to rob our store again. I don’t believe this is a targeted attack as it is very common in the optical industry people to steal designer sunglasses,” said Ahmad.
Creina O'Grady, Media Officer for Victoria Police said investigators do not believe that the five burglaries are linked as the owner was not personally targeted.
“The reason for the burglaries is believed to be the ease in which the thieves can on-sell the stolen high-end sunglasses that were stolen in each burglary,” she said.
Insurance and security measures
Ahmad suggests that anyone running a business should get insurance and adequate security measures as anyone can fall victim to such an incident.
“Not just businesses but people living at home should get ring security. You can set a zone and its motion sensors act as a great precautionary measure especially for when people travel overseas and can monitor it from anywhere in the world.”
Anyone with further information can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au