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Church robbery syndicate arrested in Delta

The police in Delta state say they have apprehended suspected notorious church robbery syndicate.

The duo were reportedly arrested by operatives of the Orerokpe Divisional Police in the state following a number of burglaries of churches at night during which musical instruments were stolen.

The Police Public Relations Officer for the Delta State Command, DSP Bright Edafe, stated that the suspects were nabbed on November 19, 2023, “following their infamous strings of church break-ins in Delta State.”

According to the police spokesman, they were arrested “following a break-in at the Redeemed Christian Church of God, ‘Dominion Mega’, where several church musical instruments were carted away from the church.”

The PPRO explained that sequel to a report lodged in November 17, 2023, the Divisional Police Officer, Orerokpe Division, CSP Paul Obaware, swiftly mobilised and led his operatives to assess the scene of the crime.

“Afterward, an operation was planned and executed on the strength of the items that were carted away.

“Consequently, on November 19, 2023, Patrick Emete posted one of the stolen amplifiers for sale on his Facebook page.

“Immediately, detectives offered to buy the said item, lured and trailed the suspect to Effurun Roundabout, where he was apprehended at about 1304hrs of the same date.

“Following the confession of the 36-year-old apprehended suspect, Patrick Emete, of Ughoton community, one of his associates, Alex Uwagbafor, aged 45 years of New Era Clinic, Deco Road, Warri, was also arrested.

“Preliminary investigations revealed that these suspects are notorious and unrepentant thieves who specialise in burgling churches, shops, and homes.”

The police listed items recovered from the suspects as including 20 big loudspeakers; three generator sets; 15 large mixers amplifiers; four keyboards; 12 power amplifiers; 10 industrial standing fans; one complete drum set; one guitar; one power microphone; two standing freezer; two plasma televisions; two home theatres; one washing machine; three stabilisers; three handsaws; one clipper; one microwave; one small oven; and one gas cylinder.

The police further noted that in sequence to the ongoing investigation, a clergyman (name withheld) also alleged that his church was burgled on November 30, 2023 and upon questioning, the suspects admitted and further led the operatives to Eburu Street Warri, where more stolen items were recovered.

These items included 11 big loudspeakers; five professional power amplifiers, six professional mixers; one Serato DJ deck; one Pioneer DJ deck; one plasma TV; four big generators; one generator without a tank; one power microphone set; one projector; two sets of English mini drums and one big stabiliser.

Meanwhile, frantic efforts are ongoing to recover more stolen items, the police stated, noting that the suspects were presently in custody and would be prosecuted accordingly, upon the conclusion of the investigation.

In the meantime, the state Commissioner of Police, CP Wale Abass, has assured the public that efforts are being solidified by the state command to boost and enhance the effectiveness of the men during the festivities and beyond “to ensure that criminal exploits are reduced to the barest minimum”.

“As we edge closer to the year’s festivities, we wish to dispel any notion that seeks to cast doubt on the work of the Command’s effectiveness in eradicating crime in Delta State,” the CP said.

He therefore called for sustained support of the public in fighting crime within the region advising that credible information could be shared with the police through the nearest police station, or the office of the Police Public Relations Officer

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