Crime & Punishment of Thursday, 31 July 2014

Source: Ekow Quarcoo

Tracking device foils gunpoint carjacking

When a midnight call reached the owner of taxi cab with registration number GS6341-13 that armed men had seized his vehicle, he froze in panic and wondered why such a tragedy should befall him.

The 30-year-old taxi driver, Yaw Asiedu, was working through the night when, just before midnight, two well-dressed gentlemen stopped him at East Legon. As soon as they sat in the car, they both drew out pistols and pointed them at him, ordering him to step out of the car if he valued his life. He got out of the car obediently, and watched the gunmen speed off towards Madina, a surburb of Accra. That was when he called his car owner, Mr. Ike Bediako, an Accra business man.

According to Mr. Bediako, the first thing he did when he ‘returned to his senses’ was to call the Police; it was while he waited for a response from the police that he recalled that a tracking device had been installed on his vehicle months earlier, although he had never really taken its monitoring seriously.

‘I must confess that until this incident happened to me, I always considered carjacking a rather farfetched possibility. I hear about it and read about it in the papers but I never ever thought it could happen to me.

‘I had a tracker installed on the car just to observe my driver’s movement in Accra and how he used my car ...I had never thought about the loss of my car to armed robbers,’ Mr. Bediako confessed to reporters.

He said at about 9:00am, he called Look Security Systems, the Tracking Company which installed the monitoring device on his taxi, and reported that the car had been stolen - snatched at gunpoint at East Legon and that, according to the driver, the robbers had headed straight for Madina.

He said within just two minutes of his call, Mr. Peter Carr, Director of Look Security, called him back to say that his car was nowhere near Madina and that it had been located, stationary, on a side-road in Kotobabi Down, near Alajo.

‘The most interesting part of this drama is that, when I asked Mr. Carr whether my Taxi was safe and how we could recover it, he told me unless the vehicle is towed by the robbers, ‘it will wait right where it is’ until I and the Police got there because he had ‘demobilized it’ by shutting off the engine completely. To think that he did that from his office in Weija is incredible!’

Mr. Bediako said when he arrived at Kotobabi Down in the company of an armed police escort and staff of Look Security Systems, the car was indeed parked on the exact location described by Mr. Carr, with all the windows rowed up but deserted on the side road.

Police sources say, cars high jacked at gun point like Mr. Bediako’s are usually cannibalized for sale to car part dealers in Accra and Kumasi or simply used for other major robberies.