By Dora Akyaa Asare
Members of car stealing gangs operating in the Madina district have been arrested by the Madina police, and are currently in custody.
The alleged suspects are Daniel Adjei aka Ras, 30, a driver under the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP), Kwabena Dankwa aka Bobby, 25, unemployed, Frank Sarpong aka Amonia, 24, and Isaac Annan, currently on the run, and are all workers at the Jaria Hotel.
The first and second suspects were arrested in the process of offering a stolen Nissan Quest 2007 model for sale at $22,000, to a disguised policeman at Baba Yara
The third suspect was arrested as an accomplice, soon after the vehicle was stolen from the hotel premises at East Legon.
Chief Superintendent Paul Aryitey, Madina Divisional Commander, narrated to newsmen that on December 3, this year, the Madina police, acting on intelligence, arrested three car syndicates at Baba Yara, a suburb of Madina.
According to him, the suspects, Daniel Adjei and Kwabena Dankwa, live in the same house at East Legon,
He noted that the Daniel and Dankwa established a friendly relationship with the third and fourth suspects, Frank and Isaac, and in the course of their relationship, hatched a plan to steal a Nissan Quest belonging to the Jariah Hotel.
He added that the suspects, through the assistance of a friend who is yet to be identified, contacted a police undercover agent, who feigned interest in buying the car.
Explaining further, he said, in the dark hours of Thursday, December 2, the suspects, Frank Sarpong and Isaac Annan, stole the original keys to the Nissan Quest vehicle from the key rack on which it was hung at the reception of the hotel, and replaced it with a fake one.
However, at about 1:00 a.m. in the morning of December 3, the suspects, Daniel Adjei and Kwabena Dankwa, stole the vehicle, using the original key, from where it was parked to a secret location within Baba Yara.
Later, the suspects made a call to the supposed buyer to meet them at the secret location for the vehicle, in exchange for $22,000.
Immediately, the information was passed on to the police, and they quickly laid ambush in the area, and arrested the two suspects.
During the search, the police claimed one revolver with 13 live ammunition, two knives, and the number plate of the stolen vehicle.
Suspect Daniel Adjei, who claimed ownership of the weapon, admitted stealing it from the Legon Sports Directorate where he worked as a storekeeper.
During interrogation, all the suspects confessed to their involvement in the crime.
Chief Superintendent Aryitey advised the public to be cautious about the type of people they employ as caretakers, and also verify their backgrounds with the help of the police.
He added that the recent trend of robberies indicated that most of the events were planned with the help of insiders.
In a related development, 16 suspected pickpockets have been arrested by the Kaneshie police, and are currently in custody.
The alleged thieves include one Charles Mensah, Benjamin Okine, Emmanuel Mensah, Samuel Arhin, Ebenezer Kwalah, Nii Ayitey, Mahama Alhassan, Kofi Yeboah and Mohammed Barichie. The rest are Nana Yaw Manu Bawa, John Anamang, Francis Ocran, Samuel Adjei, Theophilus Asomani, Kwasi Tonana and Yaw Sakyi.
According to the District Commander, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Fleance Adika, on November 30, this year, at about 7:00 p.m., his outfit had information that some head porters in the area had been robbing travelers of their belongings.
Briefing the press last Wednesday, DSP Adika explained that the suspects, whose ages ranged between 17 and 42 years, pretended to be head porters, and as soon as they come into contact with both commercial and private vehicles plying the Kaneshie route, they attempt to use various tactics to steal from them.
He added that the suspects went round the parked vehicles at the bus stops, as if they were there to off-load goods from the vehicles, but ended up stealing from the people.
Items they mostly steal from their victims, according to DSP Adika, include mobile phones, laptops, money and other valuables.
He noted that when they steal the items, they pass them on to their colleagues, who vanish with them. He said they normally come from Agbogbloshie, Sukura, Russia and other areas to Kaneshie to operate. DSP Adika advised travelers to be cautious of such people, because they are not what they claim to be.