Police bust ring of house break-in thieves

The suspects have since admitted as the brains behind some of the burglaries in Kigali.

Seven members of the same co-ordinated ring behind a series of house break-ins targeting mainly electronics were on Saturday, August 8, arrested.

A statement from police indicates that the 7-member ring includes five people, who break into targeted houses while two others are said to be charged with selling the stolen electronics, especially flat-screen television sets.

 

The suspects have since admitted as the brains behind some of the burglaries in Kigali. 

 

According to police, theft, under article 166 of the law determining offences and penalties in Rwanda, attracts imprisonment of one to two years and a fine of between Rwf1 million and Rwf2 million, a community service of six months or one of these penalties.

 

Eric Tuyizere, 20, one of the members of the ring admitted that he was part of the five-member group that would break into houses.

According to the statement, Tuyizere, alongside Augustin Muhawenayo are the same people who were recently captured by a CCTV camera, breaking into a house located in the neighborhood of Kibagabaga, Gasabo District.

"At the time when we were captured by a CCTV camera, I was with Muhawenayo and Manasse (another arrested member of the ring). We didn't know there was a camera, but when we noticed that we were in a trap, we only took a flat television screen. My role in this group was to stay outside on watch-out to ensure we are not noticed or arrested," Tuyizere explained. 

Muhawenayo and Tuyizere said that they have been in this criminal business for a while.

According to Muhawenayo, 32, they have an organised group that conducts surveillance to map out houses especially those with flat television screens.

"We were arrested after entering into one of the houses we had targeted in Kibagabaga, Gasabo District, where we stole a flat-screen.

We had previously succeeded in breaking into several houses in Kimironko where we also stole a number of television sets," Muhawenayo narrated. 

He explained that they had clients ready to buy every stolen television set, and who were giving them money to facilitate their movements. 

On the other hand, Nsabiyeze Nuhu admitted that his role was to get buyers for the stolen items.

He hails from Rubavu District, where he runs an electronics' shop. He said that he was arrested on his second attempt buying television screens from the same group.

"I was connected to this group by a colleague, who lives here in Kigali. Normally, I deal in new televisions, but this group started supplying me with used TV sets at a cheaper price," Nsabiyeze said.

He said that he was getting about Rwf100,000 in profits from every TV set he sold.

Nsabiyeze said that he had already bought five TV sets from this group.

Rwanda National Police (RNP) spokesperson, CP John Bosco Kabera, said that police will continue to track people engaged in these criminal activities.

He further warned people, who deal in stolen items and advised the public against buying goods on black market, which can make them accomplices when found with anything stolen.

"This group was identified after we arrested one member, who cooperated and disclosed all his accomplices," Kabera said.

eashimwe@newtimesrwanda.com

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