By Omar Bah
The Gambia police anti-crime unit has arrested and charged four ex-convicts with breaking in and stealing and conspiracy to commit felony.
The four individuals; Ismael Touray, Baba Jaiteh, Wuyeh Sanneh and Muhammed Colley were arrested for breaking into one Amadou Wurry Jallow’s office to steal six flat screens worth over D400, 000.
The police have also charged a Senegalese national, Mam Sheikh Ndiaye, who bought the six flat screens, with buying a stolen property.
“The good thing is that the owners of the office had put a proper security in place and so they were able to provide the police with evidence that helped so much in their investigation. It was through those evidence that the police were able to identify the first suspect and spent the whole night to round up the rest. All the flat screen televisions they stole have been recovered,” police spokesperson Superintendent Lamin Njie told journalists yesterday.
According to police, the TV sets were recovered from the Senegalese businessman who bought them all for D60, 000.
“Now the interesting thing here is that the value of the televisions according to the owner is up to D400, 000 but when we investigated, we realised that this person who bought them from the suspects only bought them for D60, 000. So we want to urge the public to report as quick as possible when break-in or related offences took place at their premises so that the police will quickly intervene,” PRO Njie said.
Njie also urged people to be sharing information with the police, arguing that “it is only through collaboration that we would be able to deal with these situations.”
“We know our job is to prevent crime but where we cannot prevent crime, at least when crimes are committed, we will be able to bring the perpetrators to justice. We also want to encourage the public to put some security in their offices and compounds,” he said.
The police are often blamed when they arrest some of these suspects and few days later, the same people will be seen on the streets or caught breaking into someone else’s property.
But the PRO said: “The Gambia Police Force’s intention is to ensure that once we arrest people, sentences are given and they are taken to the prison or perhaps be reformed so that when they go out, they will not go back to the offences they committed. So definitely arresting these people and seeing them to only commit the same crimes again is really frustrating. But we will never relent in getting them arrested whenever they commit crimes.”
“The Criminal Justice system is such that you have the police, Judiciary and the prison services. Now the job of the police is to apprehend and prosecute criminals as far as their offences are concerned. We do this as much as we can at any point in time when anybody is caught committing an offence that is criminal in nature. Now what happens in the court is decided by the Judiciary and what happens in the prisons is another institution as well,” he added.
Njie said the police will continue to arrest and prosecute people who commit crimes but the fines they get “are decided by the courts. The police cannot determine that.”