Per the Daily Mail, CCTV footage that was used in court shows the Brazilian international centre-back and friend Rodrigo Tavares arriving in a Mercedes in the garage of Gabriel’s Barnet home one night back in August, before two men wearing hoods and masks – with one brandishing a baseball bat – suddenly enter.
Gabriel can be seen initially handing his keys and watch over to the armed robber, who later lunges at the Arsenal footballer and tries to strike him with the bat, only for Gabriel to hit him in the face and then grab hold of his sleeve and pull during a frightening scuffle, with the attacker eventually getting free as he strikes out with the weapon again before sprinting away from the scene.
One of the robbers, Abderaham Muse, was identified due to DNA from his hat, which fell off as he fought with Gabriel. He was jailed for five years at Harrow Crown Court over one count of robbery and one of possession of an offensive weapon, but his accomplices have yet to be apprehended.
Judge Anupama Thompson said: “While you didn’t specifically target the victim on account of him being a well-known footballer, there was a realisation this person was wealthy and worthy of robbing.
“You saw a nice car and a nice house and thought it was rich pickings. Fortunately, thanks to the brave actions of the people you targeted, no further damage was done.”
Prosecutor Martin Lewis said: “No injuries were suffered but a great deal of shock was caused. They happened to pick on two victims who were very fit and able to look after themselves.”
Gabriel – who joined Arsenal from French club Lille for £27million in the summer of 2020 and has since made 42 appearances across all competitions – is not the first Gunners player to have to deal with a harrowing attempted robbery in recent years.
Back in 2019, an armed mugger tried to steal £200,000 worth of luxury watches from Sead Kolasinac and Mesut Ozil in Hampstead, north-west London.
Bosnian defender Kolasinac chased off two knife-wielding men before Ozil – who left Arsenal for Galatasaray in January – managed to drive away from the ambush as the would-be robbers pursued the duo on a stolen moped and threw stones.