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Security Operatives Arrest Two Notorious Robbers While Stealing From Church In Rivers State

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The Rivers State command of the Nigeria Police Force has put in custody two individuals who were caught while trying to deface the iron on the fence surrounding Emmanuel Anglican Church, located in Okoro-Nu-Odo by Rumuokoro Roundabout in Obio-Akpor local government area of the state.

Naija News learnt that the duo were nabbed by the security guards at the church around 2 am yesterday.

According to reports, there was mild drama on the church premises while questioning the burglary suspects before they were eventually handed over to the police at approximately 9 am.

The PUNCH reported that one of the suspects, who identified himself as Henry, a 19-year-old resident of the Awalama community (the host community of the Church) but originally from Oguta in Imo State, revealed that he had been a frequent inmate at Degema prison in Rivers State.

“I have been in prison at the Degema Correctional Centre, where I was jailed for stealing cartons of noodles from a shop in the Awalama community. For that offence, it was because of hunger. But for this one (stealing iron on the Church fence), the Church security guards arrested us between 12 am and 2 am today while stealing iron fence protectors.

“I’m a school dropout. I stopped at Primary Two at Okoro-Nu-Odo Primary School. I was selling pure water (Sachet Water) before and stopped and later delved into selling of scraps,” the suspect confessed.

Henry further disclosed that scraps of iron are quantified in kilograms. A single kilogram is priced at N200.

While appealing for mercy, he requested that the Holy Bible be brought to him so that he could take an oath not to steal again.

However, the second suspect, who refused to disclose his true identity, confessed to being caught in the act of stealing church belongings, particularly iron protectors. He stated that he is from Obele in Ikwerre local government area of the State.

He claimed that Henry had invited him to partake in the crime, but the Church’s security guards apprehended them.

The suspects narrated further that they have willing buyers for stolen items, particularly individuals who own scrapyards in the nearby Rumuokoro neighbourhood.

On two occasions, Naija News learnt that criminal scavengers cut the iron on the back gates of the church worth more than N200,000 several times.

The Church at the popular Rumuokoro Roundabout had to replace its gate due to its strategic location. The Church and the Diocese of Niger Delta North, DNDN, Anglican Communion Security Company bore the cost of the replacement.

It was also revealed that there was another raid by scavengers between 12 am and 2 am recently. The criminals reportedly managed to cut off the newly replaced gate, which led to the implementation of additional security measures. These measures proved to be effective.

Subsequently, detectives from the Rumuodomaya Divisional Police Station identified and arrested two suspects on Sunday.

These suspects are habitual criminals who have been involved in various crimes such as burglaries, pickpocketing, and robberies in the Rumuokoro area of the State.

Sources within Emmanuel Anglican Church Okoro-Nu-Odo, who wished to remain anonymous, told journalists that there had been an increase in the theft of Church properties. The management has taken appropriate measures to protect these properties.

The two suspects have been handed over to the Special Area Divisional Police Station at Rumuodomaya for further investigation.

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