Three Tanzanians have been arrested in connection with an emerging crime that uses remote vehicle jammers to break into vehicles and rob the owners of their valuables.
The suspects names were given by the police as Ruderick Benedict, 29, a laboratory technician, Cassian Pascal, 39, a businessman, and Haji Yussifu, 29, unemployed.
The Accra Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Mr Frederick Adu Anim, told journalists in Accra that during the middle of last year, the Airport Police Command recorded a number of break ins into vehicles at shopping malls, recreational and social centres within its jurisdiction.
The district in a bid to curb the trend held a number of stakeholder meetings and embarked on educational programmes, using the media to educate the public, corporate organisations and private security operators on how to monitor the activities of such criminals.
Subsequently, he said, the places where such crimes had been recorded were put under surveillance.
Mr Adu Anim said about 2 p.m. on January 13, this year the Airport Police received a report of break-in into a vehicle at the Palace Mall, Flower Pot, off the Spintex road.
The police then requested the CCTV footage for analysis and further investigations and based on the intelligence gathered and critical observation of the CCTV footage, strategies were put in place for an operation.
Around 11:30 p.m. last Friday, two men drove to the Palace Mall again to undertake their operations.
He said one of the suspected criminals was arrested by the police with the support of the private security of the mall and the vehicle used by the suspects was confiscated.
The police, based on intelligence, found the hideout of the suspects and quickly launched an operation, leading to the arrest of the two more suspects separately at American House, East Legon and Adjiringanor.
They were found with their passports at hand preparing to travel out of the country.
The police said the suspects went to malls, parking lots, recreational centres and other public places where they loitered at the car parking lots and intercepted their victim’s car lock remotely with a jammer device.
Through this means, they get access to vehicles, steal any valuable items and money and bolt.
Mr Adu Anim said the suspects confirmed to the police that in April and May 2019, they visited Ghana as tourists and left and returned on January 6, this year and lodged in a hotel at Adjiringanor, rented a Toyota Corolla Saloon Car to facilitate their activities until luck eluded them, leading to their arrest.
Upon their arrest, he said, the police retrieved two electronic remote car jammers from the suspects.
The regional police commander, therefore, advised the public to always look out for such criminal elements loitering around car parking spaces and cross check their car doors to ensure they were properly locked before they left their cars at car parks.
He also urged people not to leave their valuables in their vehicles.
Mobile vendor robbers
In another development, three young men have been busted by the police for allegedly robbing a mobile money vendor at Santor, a suburb of Accra.
They are Jeremiah Osei, a mason, Bismark Wiafe, a conductor of a commercial vehicle and Francis Norvor, alias Mugabe, unemployed.
Mr Adu Anim said about 1:30 p.m. on January 15, 2020, Osei and Wiafe, armed with a pistol and a knife, entered a mobile money shop on the pretext of withdrawing mobile money from their phones.
While they were being served, they pulled out their weapons and ordered the victim to show them where the money for the day was kept.
They then snatched the attendant’s handbag, which contained keys and some identification cards and bolted.
The victim raised alarm which attracted some persons close by who pursued the suspects and apprehended Osei and Wiafe and handed them over to the police.
During investigation, Mr Adu Anim said, the suspects admitted robbing the victim at gun point and mentioned Norvor as the person who provided the pistol, leading to Norvor’s arrest from his hideout at Santor.