Crime & Punishment of Wednesday, 3 September 2014
A five-member armed robbery gang has been busted by the Accra Regional Police Command following a series of attacks they launched on residents of five communities in Accra and its environs.
The suspects, described by the police as hardened criminals, are said to have terrorised residents of East Legon, Adjirigano, Trasacco, Ogbojo and Madina in?Accra.
The police gave their names as William Gbeku, 34, alias ‘Minister’, a taxi driver and the leader of the gang; Pady Handson, 21, alias ‘Missed Call’, unemployed, and Stephen Sandowu, 28, a gardener.
The rest are: Alex Donkor, 41, alias ‘Broni’, a driver who allegedly sponsors the operations of the gang and takes delivery of the stolen items before they are sold; and Kennedy Gbonmintah, 30, a mason.
Some weapons and implements believed to have been used in the attacks were retrieved from the suspects. They include three pump action guns, one single barrel shotgun, 41 live cartridges, machetes, jack knives, pliers, a hammer, a spanner, and a car jack.
Some stolen items found in their possession were eight mobile phones, Samsung tablets, iPhones, Internet modem, SIM cards, three television sets, wrist watches, sunglasses, passports and driver’s licences.
Two traders are also being held by the police for buying their booty. They are: Daniel Owusu, 29, alias ‘Burger’, a second-hand television set dealer, and Eugene Sakyiamah, 32, a general goods trader.
Briefing the media yesterday, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP), Mr Christian Tetteh Yohuno, said the suspects were arrested on August 1, 2014.
On their method of operation, he said one of the suspects, Sandowu, posed as a gardener who moved from house to house on the pretext of looking for menial jobs.
“After securing a job, Sandowu leaked vital information to the other members of the gang to attack his employers,” he said.
Citing some of the robbery incidents, Mr Yohuno said about 9:30 a.m on June 23, 2013, the gang allegedly raided the house of a professor at the University of Ghana, Legon Campus, who had engaged the services of Sandowu.
While the professor was away, Sandowu and the other gang members allegedly tamed the dog in the house and took away some valuables, including a Nissan Almera saloon car.
The car, which was driven to Kumasi and sold there, has since been retrieved by the Ashanti Regional Police Command.
Mr Yohuno said on August 2, 2014, two members of the gang, Handson and Gbeku, allegedly attacked and robbed a retired doctor of an unspecified amount of United States dollars at Adjiringano.
The two robbers allegedly wounded the driver of the doctor after disarming him in a struggle.
In another operation, the gang allegedly attacked and robbed the occupants of a house at Ogbojo, near Madina.
With the connivance of a houseboy in the house, Sandowu and his men were said to have disconnected the electrical wiring on the wall of the house, scaled it and attacked its occupants.
Mr Yohuno said during interrogation, the suspects confessed to carrying out robbery operations in the areas mentioned.
Some of the victims of the robbery attacks have since identified three of the suspects at an identification parade held by the police.