The Uwanse police Division, Calabar South Local Government Area in Cross River State yesterday shoot and brought down one of the armed robbery suspects among the robbery gang after serious gun battle which broke out along the Goldie-Mount axis in Calabar South after the police received a distress call from the robbery victims.
Apart from the one robbery suspect gunned downed by the police during the gun battle, another robbery suspect also sustain injuries, while the driver of the gang fled when he realized that the police were going tgo over power the robbery gang.
However, the police recovered two “Akwa made” pistols, handsets cash and laptops suspected to have been stolen by the armed robbery gang from any of their victims.
A source told our correspondent in Calabar that the robbery gang were the ones responsible for some of the criminal cases and most robbery incidence which had been taking place in the area since the beginning of 2018.
Our findings revealed that the robbery gang were noted for its notoriety pertaining to all forms of criminality in the area where shops were looted on daily basis particularly in the early hours of the evenings.
Before the robbery gang was crushed by the police, residents of the area have been subjected to serious stealing, sport betting shop were not either spared , an NBL distributor at 4 Mt Zion
as well as a Micro Finance Bank at the same location was not left out as owners of the businesses hzad also suffered from the hands of these criminal elements.
But an eyewitness in the area, Mr. Ephraim Chigozie told our correspondent that three of the boys who wore faze cap entered his premises under the pretex of coming to drink unknown to him that they were criminals who had come to the place with an ulterior motives.
Chigozie said ,“I was waiting for my driver to come back, when he did I was dashing out to get the keys from him to also go out when I saw three guys walk into our premises, at first I thought they were customers coming to buy drinks because we sell beer wholesale and I became a bit suspicious because the three of them wore faze caps.
“Before I knew it, they held one of my boys, I did not know that the leader was pointing a pistol to his waist, so when I walked towards my car, they ordered me back into the store and asked me to lie flat onthe floor, after they had dispossessed us, they went into the Micro-finance Bank in the same premises
“Unfortunately for them the bank usually has serious activities because they gave loan to market women on Mondays, so when they entered the crowd was too much, they ordered everyone to lie down but the women started screaming and they had to leave immediately because some people alerted the police too.”
According to one of the sources who spoke with our correspondent in anonymity maintained that she knew the deceased suspect long time ago because he teaches in her daughter school also in the area adding that she never knew that the deceased was a harden criminal.
“I know the deceased suspect very well, he taught in different schools before coming to my daughter school (names withheld) in this neighborhood, I am surprised that he was an armed robber, because they told me he left the school just few weeks ago because of salary issues.
“He is a graduate and I just don’t understand why he went into armed robbery ,just look at how he destroyed himself in the name of looking for fast money ,they have been robbing the people here day and night without fear but he has finally met his Waterloo,” The eye witness added .
However, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, ASP Irene Ugbo stressed that the gang were ambushed by a crack team of the Uwanse Division police Division in one of their swiftest operations on Monday after the robbery escaped one of the confrontations by the police which the police engaged them after a distress call.
Irene Ugbo said,“Our men killed one of them during a gun duel because they opened fire, one was injured while two others are still at large, investigation is ongoing, we also recovered cash, two locally made pistols, laptops and phone, we will surely get to the root of the matter ,“she assured.