The night of Thursday December 7 2006 would be one of the night's residents of Accra suburb, Kisseiman and more specifically staff of the Star Oil Service Station will never forget.
That night saw the service station witnessing its version of the increasing cases of what may be called Hollywood-style robberies.
The robbers went away with millions of cedis and killed one of their own colleagues while attempting to gun down the watchman (security guard).
At about 6:30pm, just about half an hour after the community (also known as West Legon) had its turn of the now unpleasant power cut resulting from VRA's load management programme, the Star Oil service station came under attack from four relatively young gentlemen armed to the teeth with different types of rifles.
Obviously not oblivious of the many vehicles that use the Haatso-Achimota road as well as the presence of residents, eye-witnesses told dailyEXPRESS that the courageous and determined armed robbers corked their guns and demanded the day's sales proceeds from the terrified pump attendants.
Patricia Ofori, one of the pump attendants on duty told the dailyEXPRESS that she was rounding up her sales for the day when a vehicle pulled up to refill. While in the process of serving the customer, four young guys appeared from the thick forest just opposite the station with their rifles ready to shoot.
With guns pointing at her, she said, “they were shouting and asking, 'where is your money, where is your money, bring the money!' One of them removed the bag from my neck, searched my pocket and took my mobile phone. He squeezed and twisted my neck. I asked him what do you want again, I have given you all the money. When he left my neck and turned his attention to my other colleagues who were then in the office, I sneaked and run into hiding.”
The young lady who was saved by the Grace of God said she heard gun-shots seconds after she escaped into hiding. Her other colleagues who according to her were in the office calculating their sales also managed to escape but not before one of them also lost his sales to the robbers.
A tearful and shocked Patricia told the dailyEXPRESS that her sales of over eleven million cedis and mobile phone were taken away.
The watchman on duty at the time amazingly escaped death when a gun shot targeted at him rather hit one of the robbers killing him instantly. The body which lay at the station for close to an hour was taken away by the police.
The incident drew hundreds of curious residents from various parts of the community to catch a glimpse of the dead body.
Patricia Ofori who was the only staff to return to the station after the robbery has been invited by the Achimota Police to assist with investigations.
The Kisseiman area has witnessed a number of robberies recently with several instances of mobile phone snatching both at gun and knife points with the perpetrators cutting their victims even after taking their phones and money.
With the Christmas season approaching, armed robberies it is feared will increase. There has already been a number of such cases in other areas including the Lashibi, Sakumono areas where a woman is reported to have offered herself to be raped to save her mother.
With the ECG & Volta River Authority unable to effectively and efficiently resolve the nation's power crisis, the 4-month old load shedding exercise will continue into the yuletide, which means a lot more of unbearable inconveniences to Ghanaians and a boost for criminal activities.
The police administration meanwhile says it has decided to deploy a lot more men unto the streets and localities to ensure a peaceful Christmas celebration.