Thefts Are Back, Citizens in Idlib Say

A market at the center of the city of Kafr Nabl – May 17, 2018 (Enab Baladi)

A market at the center of the city of Kafr Nabl – May 17, 2018 (Enab Baladi)


For the second time in less than a year, the motorcycle of young man Ausama is stolen from his building’s entrance, located in Wadi al-Naseem neighborhood, Idlib city. Today, Ausama is forced to walk or borrow one of his friends’ motorcycles to get his needs or that of his family, speaking of the theft phenomenon, which turned into a nightmare and a source of anxiety to the city’s people in the absence of censorship on the part of the concerned entities.  

Ausama al-Khalaf, a citizen from the city of Idlib, spoke to Enab Baladi about his suffering due to the robberies phenomenon. On Friday, February 22, he woke up to find his motorcycle stolen from the entrance of his building, stressing that it is the second time he is being stolen despite the proliferation of security checkpoints in the area.

Still, Ausama preferred not to file a complaint to the concerned entities, triggered by his first experience, for the descriptions of his first vehicle were generalized to all the checkpoints to no avail, for, as he put it, none of the checkpoints showed the intention to cooperate.


Thefts While No Police Service Is Available

These incidents highlight Idlib city’s difference from the rest of the areas in Northern Syria, under the absence of the Free Police Service, for Hayat Tahrir al-Sham/HTS-affiliated security departments are very few if compared to the Free Police Service’s departments, which include Counter Crime division, Investigation and Follow Up Division and the Criminals Prosecution Division.

According to activist Haza’ al-Haza’, from the city of Kafr Nabl in southern rural Idlib, the causes to the proliferation of thefts in Idlib can all be attributed to the absence of censorship and police services in the area, as well as the citizens’ lack of trust in the concerned entities nowadays, pointing out that numerous thefts are taking place on a daily basis, while the affected people are not reporting them.

“There is an urgent need for a police service that can formulate itself anew and offer a follow up of such incidents,” al-Haza’ told Enab Baladi.


Kafr Nabl, Bad Experiences

Maraym, a pseudonym of a woman from the city of Kafr Nabl, narrated her experience with thefts, when their family car was stolen while parked right in front of their own house early this month, pointing out that she filed a complaint to the concerned entities in Kafr Nabel and the car’s descriptions were generalized to no avail to the day this report was written.

Fateh al-Qasem, from the city of Kafr Nabl also, had a similar experience when his car was stolen mid-last year. He filed a complaint to the security services, but the cause witnessed no progress.

“Thefts have been on the rise lately, the reason why a real authority is needed as to hold the thieves accountable in order to limit the phenomenon, which became the unlawful source of living for all unemployed persons,” al-Qasem told Enab Baladi.

In addition to car and motorcycle thefts, a number of the city’s residents spoke of home thefts, particularly in the areas where the house owners are forced to leave due to deteriorating security conditions. Recently, markets started to appear, where secondhand and stolen equipment is sold.

In an interview with Enab Baladi, Abdulaziz al-Mousa said that this phenomenon is present in all societies, but it proliferates at a greater level when security and stability are absent.

Al-Mousa, a writer and a novelist, added that the best solution to this phenomenon is severe punishment of the offenders, while stressing the role of ethical and religious deterrent which helps to raise people’s awareness and put a limit to thefts’ proliferation.

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