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Six arrested as police bust Bayelsa phone-theft syndicate


The State Intelligence Bureau of the Police Command in Bayelsa has arrested a gang of six criminals who specialized in stealing mobile phones using tricycles.

The suspects, Daniel Patrick, Oyinmi Gideon, Abdulmalik Sa’adu, Ebenezer Samuel, David Ebikabowei, and John Okon, were arrested at different locations in Yenagoa, the state capital, after sustained surveillance by police operatives.

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Police spokesman SP Asinim Butswat said the suspects’ modus operandi was to drive in pairs, with one posing as the driver and the other as a passenger.

When they picked up a genuine passenger, the driver would distract the unsuspecting passenger by haggling over transport fares, while the other partner stole the phone from the passenger.

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The stolen phones were then sold to three other men, Abubakar Mallam, alias Danmallam, Ibrahim Ahmed, and Iliya Isiaka, at a discounted price.

The suspects are currently cooperating with the police in their investigations and will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.

“The Bayelsa Commissioner of Police, Mr Tolani Alausa, calls on members of the public whose phones were stolen recently, to contact the Police Public Relations Officer for possible identification and recovery,” Butswat said.

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The police warned residents of Bayelsa to be vigilant and to avoid boarding tricycles driven by strangers. They also advised residents to report any suspicious activity to the police immediately