BEIRUT: A slew of overnight taxi cab muggings in several parts of the country topped Thursday’s police reports.
The National News Agency reported Mamdouh Ghosein was robbed of LL70,000 by his taxi driver in Baabda, while in the Beirut suburb of Furn al-Shubbak, Syrian Mohammad Abu Rikbeh was robbed of an undisclosed amount of money. In Jounieh, Christian Beaini was robbed of LL550,000 in a cab. Similarly, in the Beirut neighborhood of Al-Tariq al-Jadideh Palestinian Mohammad Jazzar was robbed of about LL200,000.
Two Syrians in the Bekaa were also victimized by muggings, as Abdullah Hawwari was assaulted on the Dilhmieh road in Zahle by four men in a car who made off with his mobile phone and LL400,000, while Hussein Zayed was robbed of an undisclosed amount of money while riding a cab in the village of Tal al-Abyad.
A security source told The Daily Star that the one of the perpetrators plays the role of the cab driver, with the others pretending to be passengers. Often, victims are held at gunpoint and following the mugging are shoved out of the car. The source said police took the description of the vehicles used in the robberies, but their efforts are stymied by the rampant forgery of “public” or red license plates, which are used by taxes, minivans and buses.
In the Beirut suburb of Sin al-Fil, Marleine Charbel, 60, fell to her death from the balcony of her fifth floor house. The NNA reported that Charbel suffered from neurological disorders.
Meanwhile, in the Metn town of Jdeideh, an Internal Security Forces patrol detained two men when they were caught in the act of assaulting a Syrian national, Hasan Hamzeh.
The men had damaged Hamzeh’s car and robbed him of his money and identity card. Police confiscated three mobile phones and launched an investigation into the case.
In the Dinnieh village of Asoun, the summer home of Islamic Labor Front member Sheikh Hashem Minqara was broken into and vandalized.
In the village of Sfira in rural Dinnieh, unidentified men stole 400 meters of cable from the local electricity network.
The robbery caused a power outage in some village neighborhoods, as residents urged Electricite du Liban to replace the wires and restore power to their homes. The ISF is currently investigating the incident.
In Tyre, three unidentified men attempted to rob Alpina sweets store in the neighborhood of Raml. The shop’s owner successfully resisted them, hitting one of the assailants over the head and rendering the man unconscious.
The NNA reported that the two other thieves managed to flee the scene on a motorcycle. The municipality police arrested the injured thief and handed him over to the authorities.
In Batroun, Gergi Noun was killed when his bulldozer flipped over while he was drilling at a construction site in the village of Dahr Abi Yaghi. Noun’s body was taken to Batroun Hospital and an investigation was opened to identify the causes behind the incident.
In other police news, Samira Abdel-Khaleq, 41, was rushed to Mount Lebanon Hospital in Aley after sustaining a gunshot wound to her left shoulder. Abdel-Khaleq was shot at her home in the village of Sofar. An investigation is under way.