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20.11.2004 Crime & Punishment

Sprayer jailed for stealing rifle

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Nkawie (Ash), Nov. 20, GNA - A car sprayer who specialised in stealing the guns of security personnel who guard rural banks, has been sentenced to eight years imprisonment by the Atwima Circuit Court at Nkawie for stealing a rifle belonging to the Atwima-Mponua Rural Bank at Toase in Ashanti.

Patrick Annor, 23, who had served a previous four-year conviction for stealing a gun belonging to the Sekyere Rural Bank at Jamasi, pleaded guilty.

Police Chief Inspector Ben Antwi told the court presided over by Mr Beresford Sarfo Acquah that at about 04.30 hours on October 26, this year, the security man at the Atwima-Mponua Rural Bank at Toase left his loaded weapon at the security office and went to toilet within the premises of the bank.

He said on the return of the security guard, he found that the weapon was not at the spot where he had left it and therefore reported to the Nkawie police and other police stations within the Abuakwa District.

Chief Inspector Antwi said at about 1900 hours the same day, Annor was arrested at Mankranso driving a taxi carelessly in the Mankranso Township.

He said the police who asked him to produce documents covering the vehicle therefore impounded the taxi. Chief Inspector Antwi said the accused, however, sneaked out and removed a fertilizer sack in which the gun was hidden from the car and hid it at a nearby fitting shop.

Two fitters saw the accused hiding the sack later retrieved it and found the gun in it and so reported to the Mankranso police who sent the taxi and the gun to Abuakwa.

He said Annor then sent his friend with the papers to Abuakwa police station to claim ownership of the taxi with the story that it was stolen on October 26, this year.

Chief Inspector Antwi said when the friend presented the papers he was arrested and during interrogation, he mentioned Annor as the one who sent him.

He said the police therefore arrested the accused and after interrogation charged him with the offence.

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