OP-ED

Motorcycles are a Nightmare for Bag Theft

National Yemen

Motorcycles are a Nightmare for Bag Theft

Asma Al-Mohattwari

Without warning, a woman lost her purse on the same day she received her salary.

It was the end of the month when Faiza and Rania received their salaries. They decided to get rid of their work stress and to have some fun. They were happily walking on Hada’a Street and  going to a restaurant to have their lunch.

In that moment, the street was empty of people and cars.  Faiza was talking on the phone and Rania was walking and enjoying the nice weather. Suddenly a fast motorcycle drove by and the driver took Rania’s bag.  She was astonished and everything happened so quickly.

They turned to see the motorcycle plate but it had vanished. They took a taxi to try and find the motorcycle but they couldn’t. They decided to go to the police station and there they told the officer everything happened.

There were three men on the motorcycle. One was driving, another stole the bag and the third held the one who stole. There was $300 in the bag, a phone which cost 50,000 Y.R and all of her IDs. But the officer couldn’t do anything because they didn’t see the plate of the motorcycle.

Ranai is not alone in this suffering. A lot of women experience the same tragedy where most of the motorcycles’ drivers steal women’s bags as a profession for them because women’s bags are full of money and gold.

Security Director of the Secretariat of Sana’a Gen. Omar Abdulkarim said that motorcycles have become a security concern because some of the motorcyclists are committing different crimes such as political assassinations and murders as well as robberies.

Robbers do not leave any evidence behind them; they are careful when committing their crimes and have more than one way to make themselves safe.

Mohamed, a 22-year-old motorcycle driver, said that he had a friend who was a professional in stealing women bags. He said that it is the easiest way to steal and it is difficult for security agencies to detect or catch up with the robbers when they drive with their motorcycles in neighborhoods and alleys.

Mohamed said that the first thing the thieves do is hide the motorcycle plate by pouring oil and sand on the plate until the numbers completely disappear. Then they change the appearance of the motor by changing placemats on it. The last thing they do is disguise their personalities by covering their faces as if they are suffering from colds or the flu.

As Mohammed said, the process needs at least two men, one driving and the second in charge of taking the targeted bag.

The motorcycles’ robbers mostly target women who are going to wedding parties or shopping because they surely have money and gold inside their bags.

Amani Ali, 25 and married, had a wedding party in a hall near to her home so she and her mother decided to go by foot. Amani prepared herself for the party and wore her jewelry.

“My daughter, take out your gold and put it in your bag because we will go by foot and a piece of it may fall down,” Amani’s mother advised.

Amani put the jewelry inside the bag. When they were walking, Amani noticed two men in motorcycle on the corner of the street but she ignored them and didn’t expect that they would take her bag.

But when they entered a side street they heard the motorcycle and unconsciously Amani held strongly to her bag but the robber violently pulled her purse to pull her to the ground and took the purse with all her gold which cost 800,000YR, leaving her in psychological shock.

The most difficult thing when the happiest moment turned into the saddest was the idea of people who built their happiness by ruining the lives of others. Ali Ahmed would be engaged after spending months collecting money to buy his fiancé the engagement’s gold.

Ali asked his sister to go and give all the money to her. They went to jewelry shop and bought the gold and she put it in her bag, but a man on a motorcycle stole the bag. “10 months I was collecting the money and he got it in a moment”, Ali sadly said.

Ebtisam Zaid, psychologist said that these crimes frightened all women and girls, and bare unprecedented fear and panic inside the.  “they made us walk   in   streets and our hands on our hearts and when we hear the noise of the motorcycle we feel that they will take any thing in our possession.”