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18.10.2007 Crime & Punishment

Robbers Sweep Phone Shop

By Daily Guide

Armed robbers last Monday, attacked and robbed a phone shop in a style that could pass for a Hollywood blockbuster.

Eyewitness accounts confirmed that the suspected robbers then fled the scene in a getaway Opel Astra Saloon Car with registration number GW3275U.

What was more outlandish about the whole situation was that the Super Phone Company Limited Shop filed a complaint at the Nima police station three hours after the crime had occurred.

Taking advantage of the Sallah holiday, the robbers, armed with an AK47 rifle, burst into the Super Phone Company Limited shop along the Ring Road central, and made away with over ¢400 million worth of mobile phones.

It is believed the robbery victims first went to a radio station in Kaneshie to complain on air before approaching the police.

In another related issue, four suspected armed robbers attacked a man and woman in Kanda on October 13th.

Armed with cutlasses at about 9:30 p.m, the suspected robbers made away with two mobile phones, an mp3 player worth ¢460,000(GH¢ 46) and an amount of ¢3,150,000 (GH¢315).

The suspected armed robbers, who believed luck was on their side after their first assault, struck again the same night.

The victim this time was 26- year old Philemon Becuo, a teacher who, suspecting that he was about to be ambushed, caused a stir which alerted a group of people.

DAILY GUIDE gathered that two of the suspects took to their heels when they set eyes on the mob while the remaining two were captured and assaulted before being handed over to the police in Nima.

The apprehended suspects were identified as Mustapha Osmanu, a 20-year-old driver's mate who lives in Maamobi and Mubarak Mohammed, an 18-year old mechanic who lives in Nima. Both are now in Police custody and waiting to appear in court.

In addition to this weekend's crime wave, the Police apprehended 26 unregistered motorbikes.

The Accra South Ministries Divisional Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Angwubutoge Awuni who confirmed all the stories, has entreated victims of crime to report incidents to the police as quickly as possible.

He said if incidents were reported to the police quickly, positive steps could be taken to apprehend the criminals and recover any stolen goods.

Citing the armed robbery of a mobile phone shop in the Nima area last weekend as an example, the Chief Superintendent said if the owners of the shop had not delayed in reporting the episode, the robbers could have been apprehended.

He expressed his disbelief that it took three hours for the crime to be reported to the police even though the shop was very close to Nima Police Station.

“If we had known of the incident immediately, we could have taken definitive action to catch the criminals and to recover the stolen goods much faster,' he said.

The Chief also urged those who have been victims of crime to report the incidents to the police first and allow them to take action, rather than rushing to radio stations who then broadcast details of the episode.

'The criminals might well be listening to the radio stations and thus made aware of the facts relating to their appearance, or mode of transport.

They will then have the time to abandon their vehicles and take other steps to cover their trail,' he said. 'If people call us immediately, then we have a higher chance of capturing those responsible'.

Furthermore, the Chief advised those moving around Accra at night to be vigilant and not to put themselves at risk by carrying large sums of money.

'If you should fall victim to a crime, you will lose everything,' the Chief said.

By Ethel Kangberee & Eleanor Gurney