The police in Bayelsa State say they have recovered vehicle and weapons from suspected armed robbers after engaging them in a gun duel.
The Commissioner of Police, Bayelsa State Command, Mr. Asuquo Amba, made the disclosure in Yenagoa, the state capital, on Thursday.
Giving insight into the operation, Amba said a police squad had recently trailed a four-man armed robbery gang to Azikoro Village on the outskirts of Yenagoa.
He said the suspects, on sighting the policemen and in a bid to escape, engaged the police in a gun battle.
Amba said, ‘’The suspects were over-powered by the police superior firepower and they (suspects) escaped with bullet wounds, abandoning their ash-coloured Toyota Camry car with registration number YEN 128 GL.
‘’Items recovered from the vehicle were three empty sacks; red bag containing nine live cartridges, one motor plate-number, NEM 851 AS and a blood stained fez cap. Manhunt for the fleeing suspects has been intensified.’’
He also said the police arrested one robber who specialised in robbing bank customers of their money and other belongings after withdrawing money from the bank.
The CP said, ‘’On June 14, 2017, about 9am, one Jeff Ogoiri, was returning from First Bank at Yenizue-gene after withdrawing money and he boarded a tricycle with two passengers.
‘’On the way, both the two passengers and the rider, robbed the victim of the sum of N150,000. The victim raised the alarm and sympathisers around helped to arrest the suspect, one Jeffrey Nasamu with the timely intervention of men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
‘’The two other suspects escaped with the tricycle. Investigation is ongoing to apprehend the fleeing suspects.’’
Amba further said that on May 12, about 1.30pm, two rival cult groups clashed at a burial ceremony at Foroama-Amassoma, noting that the police in collaboration with the community vigilance group arrested Godwin Thompson, Michael Ogolo, Johnson Jonah, Royal Femo and Asari Ebikewonum, all of Amassoma community.
He said exhibits recovered from the suspects were locally made pistol, locally made single-barrelled revolver pistol, two live cartridges, one .9mm live ammunition, one black short sleeve, one school bag, among others.
Amba, who said the arrested suspects would soon be charged to court, warned hoodlums to shun criminal tendencies, stressing that there was no hiding place for any criminal in the state.
He stated that the command had intensified its efforts in fighting crime through visibility policing, intensified patrols and surveillance and encouraging active participation of neighbourhood watch and vigilance group.
The police commissioner said that violent crimes had been reduced to the barest minimum in the state, believing that through community participation and proactive approach to policing, the command would make Bayelsa one of the safest states in the country.