By Dina Aboul Hosn, Staff Reporter www.gulfnews.com
Dubai: Mahmoud Al Mousa approaches his job as a parking inspector with a gentle demeanour that hides his tough as nails attitude when it comes to criminals.
The 38-year-old Emirati parking inspector with the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is just as serious about his responsibility as a citizen vigilante, something that the two thieves and an alcohol-smuggling gang he busted will readily admit.
“It all started in 2002 when I saw a man snatching a woman’s handbag and running away. I couldn’t stand it and I had to do something; so I chased him and caught him and didn’t let go until the police took him,” he said.
The handbag contained Dh75,000 and was returned to its rightful owner.
“When I went back home and told my mother and my wife and children, their first reaction was fear. They asked me if I wasn’t afraid I would get hurt, but to me it didn’t matter. As a citizen, I had to do something to stop the crime, and I did,” he told Gulf News in an interview.
Although this first incident went without official recognition, it did not deter Al Mousa from staying alert to his vigilante role. In 2006, he saw people chasing a thief who had snatched a briefcase containing Dh120,000 from a bank customer.
Since he had been watching the scene unfold from the other side, he managed to surprise the thief by jumping at him and throwing him to the ground and holding him until police arrived.
“I received a call from Naif police station two months later telling me that I would be honoured for my bravery and, although I was thrilled with the honour, I am not doing what I do for any reason other than to protect my country and its people.”
When Al Mousa received a certificate from the police, his colleagues believed he had won a cash reward. More info