The Police in Rivers state have on Friday arrested a member of a three-man gang who robbed 37 worshipers returning from crossover service at Rumuodara, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state.
The nabbed suspect, identified as Ndubuisi Igwe aka SS Chief was in possession of a locally-made pistol that was recovered by the police, while his two gang members who escaped carried AK 47 rifles.
It was learnt that the gunmen injured two of their victims who put up resistance during the robbery and were later taken to a hospital for treatment.
A spokesman for the state police command, Nnamdi Omoni, who confirmed the incident said the suspect had been placed under protective custody, adding that the police had also launched a manhunt for the fleeing gang members as the suspect was furnishing the police with vital information that would lead to the arrest of the other suspects.
Omoni said, “Our men arrested the armed robber and recovered a locally made pistol from him, the suspect is helping us with useful information.
“The gang members of the suspect took to flight but we are closing in on them to get them apprehended.”
On his part, the Rumuodara Youth President, Frank Weli, said the Opkoro community vigilante group in Rumuodara community, Obio/Akpor LGA, assisted the police in apprehending the armed robbery suspect.
Wali added that he was informed about the early morning robber and he immediately rushed to the scene, adding that the two suspects who escaped brandished AK47 rifles which they shot in the air to pave the way for their escape, while the apprehended suspect had a locally made pistol and two ammunition.
“What happened was that this early morning, I got a distress call from the vigilate of Rumuodara community that some armed robbers were robbing people returning from new year’s day church service, molesting them and collecting their bags.
“I quickly rushed into the scene and we were able to get one of them, one Ndubuisi Igwe, aka SS Chief, while the other ones with AK47 riffles escaped. They shot into the air to scare the men of the vigilante, but we caught one of them who was with a locally made pistol, right now we have handed him over to the Okporo Police station.
“They (the suspects) robbed 37 persons and injured two who are currently receiving treatment in the hospital.” He added.