Police burst racket of violent burglars

On 19 August 2020 at 03:24

Police have arrested ten people suspected to be members of the same racket behind a series of violent theft in Rubavu and Rutsiro districts.

The group includes those, who were allegedly breaking into houses, attacking and robbing shops and petrol stations. Among the arrested are the ringleaders, who were helping to transport the stolen items and looking for buyers.

The suspects were paraded before the press in Rubavu District on Tuesday, August 18.

Their arrest comes in a wake of a series of violent burglaries in Rubavu and Rutsiro districts between June and July, during which a number of people were attacked and injured with machetes and other weapons.

Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Bonaventure Twizere Karekezi, the Police spokesperson of the Western region, said the suspects were arrested separately in Rubavu and Rutsiro.

"So far, we know at least nine theft cases in which they allegedly stole electronics including computers, flat television sets and smartphones as well as two motorcycles, robbing a petrol station and injuring six people in the process," CIP Karekezi explained.

On July 7, the ring allegedly broke into an electronics shop in Kavumu, Ruhango Sector of Rutsiro District and stole assorted electronics including laptops and smartphones valued at over Rwf2 million. They also assaulted and injured the security guard, who was guarding the shop.

In another incident, on July 29, they allegedly attacked Gemeca petrol station in Gisenyi town, injured four people (two guards and two pump attendants), and stole about Rwf400,000.

The group is also suspected to be behind the burglary that occurred in the night of July 15, in Gisenyi town where they robbed a shop of two flat television screens and phones valued at over Rwf4.4 million;

While in the night of June 17, they allegedly broke into another shop in Rubavu and stole phones worth Rwf1.5 million.

According to CIP Karekezi, all the items and money stolen amounts to over Rwf12.4 million.

"So far, we have recovered from the suspects, three flat television screens, one laptop and two smartphones as well as spare parts for the two motorcycles, which had been dismantled," CIP Karekezi said.

One of the suspects identified as Emmanuel Ndagijimana alias Peter is said to be the coordinator of the group who has been facilitating the ring to transport, store and sell the stolen items.

"Operations are still going on to identify and arrest anyone connected to this violent criminal group, including all those dealing in these stolen items, and to recover other electronics still missing," said CIP Karekezi.

He appealed to anyone with information on this criminal group, whether its members still at large or where the stolen items are stored or sold, to come forward to facilitate the recovery and fight against this criminality.