Nkomeje was arrested red-handed in Nyabikoni Village, Nyabugogo Cell, Kigali Sector with eight pieces of metal, which he had stolen from the vandalized pylons.
The District Police Commander (DPC) for Nyarugenge, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Eric Kabera, said that Nkomeje was reported by the local residents.
"A resident in Nyabugogo cell, who got suspicious after he saw Nkomeje carrying cross-arms that support electricity pylons, reported to the Police. An operation was swiftly conducted and the suspect was apprehended in possession of eight cross-arms, which he was transporting to the market to sell as scraps," SSP Kabera said.
Upon his arrest, Nkomeje admitted that together with his accomplice, whom he identified as Charles Musabyimana and still at large, stole the cross-arms from the electricity pylon in Kanogo, Gikondo Sector of Kicukiro District.
He added that they were to sell the metals to a dealer in scraps in Kiruhura market.
SSP Kabera warned individuals, who destroy public infrastructure, which also affects beneficiaries and draws the country into losses to repair the destroyed public goods.
He, however, commended the role of the public in protecting public infrastructure by reporting those, who vandalize them.
Nkomeje was handed over to RIB at Gikondo station for further investigation while the search of his accomplice is still ongoing.
According to article 182 of the law relating to offences and penalties in general in Rwanda, “any person, who maliciously demolishes or damages in any way, in whole or in part of construction, building, bridge, dams, water pipes and their routes, railway rails or any other means of communication or electric power infrastructure, wells or any other constructions, which do not belong to him/her, commits an offence."
Upon conviction, he/she is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than three (3) years and not more than five (5) years with a fine of not less than Rwf3 million and not more than Rwf5 million
In article 166, any person convicted for theft is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than one year and not more than two years and a fine of not less than Frw1 million and not more than Rwf2 million, community service in a period of six months or only one of these penalties.
However, in article 167, the penalty doubles if the crime was committed at night or by more than one person.