Seven arrested over violent motorcycle theft

On 2 November 2020 at 03:52

Rwanda National Police (RNP) has arrested seven people suspected to be connected to the recent violent theft of a motorcycle in Runda Sector, Kamonyi District.

The theft incident occurred in the evening of October 28, when three of the suspects allegedly worked together to lure a taxi-moto operator identified as Isidore Habyarimana, from Kigali to Runda where they had set a trap.

They are identified as Gilbert Ukundimana, who guised as a passenger and lured the victim to an ambush; Emmanuel Ntawukuriryayo and Francois Nsangimana, who set the ambush.

Others are Innocent Ndagijimana and Augustin Mbarushimana, who were charged with hiding the motorcycle; one Jean Damascene allegedly played the role of changing the plate numbers while one Jean Claude Habimana alias Harera, was responsible for looking for the buyer.

The suspects arrested separately in Kigali and Bugesera, were on Saturday, October 31, showed to the media at the Metropolitan Police headquarters in Remera.

Police also recovered the motorcycle from the house of Habimana in Bugesera, where he was also arrested alongside Ntawukuriryayo.

The victim; Isidore Habyarimana narrated that at about 7 pm on October 28, he was stopped by Ukundimana in Nyabugogo, who told him that he was going to Runda in Kamonyi District.

"Normally, I operate from Rukomo in Kamonyi where I live but that day, I decided to come and operate from Kigali. That very evening when Ukundimana stopped me, I was going back home.

When we arrived at a place called Kundege, two people appeared from nowhere and that very moment Ukundimana wrapped a rope around my neck and tried to strangle me," Habyarimana narrated.

He added: "I shouted over my voice for help, all I remember the two people we found in Runda punched me in the ribs before riding my motorcycle away as I was fighting for my life with Ukundimana, who stayed behind trying to strangle me. He left me unconscious thinking I was dead."

Ukundimana was pursued and apprehended by local residents, who came to Habyarimana’s rescue.

"I am lucky and thank God that I am alive. I also thank the residents, who rescued me and helped to identify and arrest these evil people; our law enforcement organs for rushing me to hospital and recovering my motorcycle," said Habyarimana.
Jean Damascene Niyomugabo, is one of the local residents, who witnessed the incident, rescued Habyarimana and apprehended Ukundimana.

"That very evening, I had just entered my house from work when I heard someone in the neighborhood shouting and calling for help when I looked through the window I saw a motorcycle taking off. I immediately left the house but found other neighbors had arrived before me, pursued and apprehended Ukundimana, although they were at the time assaulting him," Niyomugabo explained.

"The motorcyclist was lying down there unconscious and this angered residents, who thought he was dead. This anger drove them to assault Ukundimana but when I arrived, the first thing I did was to secure the suspect, call local leaders and night security personnel, and we took the suspect to the Police station," he added.

"I am a hair dresser and I work for other people because of such thieves, who stole everything in my salon. I feel it’s equally my responsibility to fight such criminals. It’s an act of humanity and community policing expected of every Rwandan," said Niyomugabo.

Ukundimana said that he was approached by Ntawukuriryayo, who sold him the idea and defined his role to lure the motorcyclist to an ambush.

"There was no specific targeted motorcyclist; Ntawukuriryayo told me to look for any new motorcycle," Ukundimana said.

Ntawukuriryayo and Ukundimana became friends when they were serving their sentences for theft and drug dealing, respectively, at Mageragere prison.

RNP spokesperson, CP John Bosco Kabera warned that such criminals have nowhere to hide in Rwanda.

"You think that you will disturb the peace and safety of others, steal their property and take away their lives or attempt to take their lives and hide; we will find you in one way or another and you will be held accountable," CP Kabera warned.

"Most of these suspects are young people, who should find other things to do instead of wasting their time in such criminal activities and end up spending many years in prison."

Under article 168 of the law determining offences and penalties in general, any person convicted for violent theft face between five and seven years in prison and a fine of between Frw3 million and Frw5 million.