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28.04.2005 Crime & Punishment

Cell phone thief grabbed

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Accra, April 28, GNA - A Trader, who steals cell phones from taxis in the Accra Metropolis, appeared before the Accra District Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

The Trader, Sylvester Oppong pleaded guilty to stealing but the Court deferred sentence pending investigation into the matter. He is to reappear on May 10.

Oppong, who is always decently dressed, hires a taxi and then asks for the Driver's cell phone to make an urgent call. If the Drivers obliges he bolts away with it.

The case of prosecuting Police Chief Inspector Alice Yeboah was that on January 25 at about 1000 hours Oppong hired the taxicab driven by Mr Edward Annor, the Complainant, from Makola to Kaneshie. Oppong asked for Mr Annor's telephone number and told him that he would call him whenever he needed his services.

The Prosecution said at about 1300 hours the same day Oppong called Mr Annor to pick him at Dzorwulu to the Ministries Commercial Bank to withdraw some money.

When they got to the Ministries, Oppong alighted and walked to the Bank but returned to inform Mr Annor that he was unable to cash the money and, therefore, had to call his sister. Oppong managed to convince Mr Annor to give him his cell phone to call the sister but bolted away with it.

Prosecution said Mr Annor narrated his ordeal to one Kofi Baafi, his Co-tenant, who was also a taxi driver.

He said on April 24 Oppong hired Baafi's taxicab from Circle to Accra and during conversation Oppong collected his number and promised to hire the car to Koforidua. Oppong promised to give him 10 gallons of petrol and 500,000 cedis for the trip.

The following day, Oppong called Baafi at about 0500 hours and asked him to pick him from Achimota to Ministries so that he could collect some drinks for the trip.

Baafi obliged and when they got to the Ministries, Oppong asked him to drive towards the Ghana Commercial Bank. Prosecution said Baafi suspected foul play and drove him to the Ministries Police Station.

Mr Annor was informed of Oppong's arrest and later he identified Oppong as the one who bolted away with his phone. During investigations five Buzz SIM cards, two Space phone SIM cards, an unserviceable Nokia camera phone and two phone hangers were retrieved from his room.

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