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01.03.2007 Crime & Punishment

Time Out For Four Robbers

The courage of residents at Nyameani, near Kuntanase in the Bosomtwe-Atwima-Kwanwoma District in the Ashanti Region, has led to the arrest of four armed robbers.

The four, identified as Kwadwo Kumi, alias Abebrese, 29 , Sumaila Musah Basiali, alias Alhassan, 26, William Sarfo, alias Maxwell, 20, and Kwaku Sarpong, alias Macho, are currently in police custody assisting in investigations.

The gang, which had succeeded in snatching three taxis from their drivers and using them for armed robbery operations, met their match in the residents who got wind of their operations and mounted a roadblock in the centre of the Nyameani township to prevent the robbers from escaping with their booty.

Prior to the action of the residents, the gangsters had sought to use the three stolen taxis to attack operators of wayside filling stations, but abandoned two of the cars which had developed faults.

It was after they had snatched the third taxi, a Toyota Carina, with registration number GT 3137 J, from its owner, with the intention of continuing their robbery spree, that residents at Nyameani heard of their operation and mounted the roadblock in the centre of the community and armed themselves in wait for the gangsters.

When the gangsters got to the community and saw the threatening situation, they quickly abandoned the taxi and attempted to escape, but the youth chased and arrested two of them and handed them over to the police.

In the course of police investigations, the two others were also arrested.

The Ashanti Regional Police Commander, DCOP Frank Adu Poku, who announced this at a press briefing in Kumasi, said the four suspected armed robbers, who were armed with locally manufactured pistols, conspired to attack a number of wayside filling stations last Wednesday, February 21.

He said they began putting their intentions into action around 3 am that day. To this end Sumaila and William Sarfo hired a Toyota Corona taxi with registration number BA 5593 C from Kajetia to Sofoline and along the way, they attacked the driver with a locally manufactured pistol and siezed the car from him.

He said they picked Kwadwo Kumi and Kwaku Sarpong and headed for Bonwire, where they attacked a filling station and robbed the attendants of cash and some valuables.

He said the taxi developed a fault so they abandoned it, but succeeded in snatching another taxi, a Hyundai Excel with registration number WR 1252 Q, which they took to Effiduase, Bomfa Nkwanta and Pemanase for a similar operation but that taxi had a flat tyre, so it was also abandoned.

DCOP Adu Poku said determined to continue with their armed robbery spree, the gang succeeded in snatching another taxi, the Toyota Carina with registration number GT 3137 J, at Pemenase.

He said at that point they also attacked some traders and robbed them of cash and some items, including materials and mobile phones.

He said it was when the robbers snatched the third taxi that information got to the residents of Nyameani, who then decided to mount a road block to prevent the robbers from escaping with their booty.

He explained that when the robbers saw that their chances of escaping was impeded, they abandoned the taxi and attempted to flee but the youth in the community chased them and succeeded in arresting William Sarfo and Kwaku Sarpong while the two others - Kwadwo Kumi and Sumaila Musa - managed to escape but they were later arrested by the police.

DCOP Adu Poku said when a search was conducted on the suspected robbers, a locally manufactured pistol, together with three live cartridges, 30 pieces of assorted wrist watches, a quantity of suit materials and four underwears, among other items, were retrieved.

Story by George Ernest Asare