Thieves have a field day in Arafat, Muzdalifah post-Haj

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          A toilet in the holy site from where taps and doors have been stolen. — Okaz photo
 Saudi Gazette
As soon as the Haj is over, the pilgrims return to their respective homes and the concerned government departments go back to their main offices in Makkah, Jeddah and other places, the thieves start stealing public properties in the holy sites especially Arafat and Muzdalifah, informed sources told Okaz/Saudi Gazette on Monday.
They said the thieves usually steal sewage covers, doors of toilets, electricity cables and many other things.
“As soon as the Haj season is over, the thieves start stealing whatever they could put their hands on particularly in Arafat and Muzdalifah,” said Mohammed Ali, a Pakistani worker.
He said the robberies, which begin at the end of the Haj season, continue throughout the year.
“The thieves concentrate on Arafat and Muzdalifah because they are open areas which are easily accessible,” he said.
Ali said the security guards could not guard the entire holy sites all the year around.
He said robberies take place during the night time because the places are quite and the traffic is very light on the streets.
The worker noted that there were no major thefts in Mina due to its terrain and its few or no entries and exits.
Salim Al-Harbe, a Saudi resident, asked the concerned security departments to intensify their operations in the holy sites to put an end to the robberies.
“Whenever you walk in the holy sites after the Haj, you will see that most of the toilets are without doors and you will find most of the electricity cables missing,” Al-Harbe said.
Muhammad Mahmoud Al-Qadi, an official at the National Water Company (NWC), said they have to install new taps and sewage covers continuously because of the thefts.
“We have a maintenance program which we conduct throughout the year. The program starts with the beginning of the year and concludes just before the Haj season. Under this program we change the taps and the other devices at the more than 3,000 toilets,” he said.
Spokesman of Makkah Municipality, Osama Zaitouni, also confirmed the theft operations and said maintenance teams from the municipality make continuous inspection tours of the holy sites.
He said they are liaising with the concerned security departments to put an end to the repeated thefts in the holy sites.

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