Police cracks down Kigali burglars, nine arrested

On 6 May 2021 at 10:11

Rwanda National Police (RNP) has arrested nine people belonging to the same racket behind series of burglaries in City of Kigali.

The group include five thieves, who were breaking into houses and four dealers in stolen items, mainly electronics such as TV sets, computers and smart phones.
They were showed to the media this Wednesday, May 5, at the Police metropolitan headquarters in Remera.

RNP spokesperson, Commissioner of Police (CP) John Bosco Kabera said the ring was apprehended on May 2, in Kigali.

During the operation, Police also recovered seven flat television sets, one laptop and six smart phones stolen from different homes in Kigali.

Anastase Gatera, 42, one of the arrested suspected thieves, admitted that the group has been carrying out burglaries for over a year now.

"I and Donath Nsengimana (also arrested), we have stolen five flat television screens from different homes in Kigali in the last three months," said Gatera.

According to Gatera, they would first surveil houses, peruse through windows to be sure if the home has a TV screen or other valuables.

"After identifying the home, we would organize and go there between 2am and 3am, vandalize the door or window, break inside and taken valuables," said Gatera.

He added that they had a taxi-moto operator, who would be on standby to deliver what is stolen to one of the five buyers they were working with.

A flat television screen, he said, they were selling it at Rwf150, 000.

Vedaste Muhoza, one of the arrested buyers claimed that he was tricked to believe that these are TV screens sold by owners of bars, which closed their businesses.

He recalled that he bought two flats television screens—Samsung 55 inches and Sony 43 inches—for Rwf410,000. The two TV screens are among those recovered.

Patrick Kamari, the owner of the recovered 55 inches flat screen, said they noticed that they had been robbed when they woke up in the morning. A laptop was also stolen from Kamari’s house that night.

"I did not know that the TV screen would be recovered. I thank Rwanda National Police because this reassures us that even when a crime is committed, our security organs are always there for us to ensure that stolen items are recovered and suspects brought to justice," Kamari said.

RNP spokesperson, CP John Bosco Kabera said the arrest and recovery of some of the stolen items were facilitated by members of the public.

"As you have seen, the group include five thieves whose role was to break into houses and four others, who were buying and selling these electronics. We are still searching other members of this group, who are still at large," CP Kabera said.

Article 166 of the law determining offences and penalties in general states that any person convicted of 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 Rwf1 million and not more than Frw2 million, community service in a period of six months or only one of these penalties.

Article 167 of the same law states that the penalty for theft doubles, if; the offender committed the crime through burglary, climbing or possession of keys other than the owner; the theft is carried out in an occupied house or in a building used for habitation or in its surroundings; the theft is carried out during the night; the theft is carried out by more than one person.