Joint efforts against theft in the City of Kigali helped Police to recover dozens of stolen items over the last eight months, the majority of them electronics, Police records show.
The recovered items include laptops and desktop computers, television sets, smart-phones, home theatres and speakers, and iPads, among others.
Also recovered are projectors, printers and eight motorcycles.
Majority of the victims of theft received their recovered items, said Theos Badege, the Police spokesperson.
Among them are two internet cafes at Gisementi in Remera where thieves stole at least 46 computers that were all recovered, suspects arrested and convicted.
“Although cases of theft were generally not alarming, the overall approach is to have no crime or limit them to the lowest level possible,” Badege said.
“When cases of theft became rampant, Police approached it with differently or with an improved approach, by establishing a crackdown unit, mapping out prone areas, dismantling black markets that were buying stolen items, but also further building stronger partnership with the public that facilitated information sharing on suspected thieves and illegal stores,” he added.
This set up, according to Police records, has lessened theft to an average of two cases per day compared to at least five cases previously.
The success in deterrence, recovery and arrests, Badege said, are largely due to timely reporting, which facilitates timely response, strengthened Police operations and community night patrols, and increased sensitisation, among others.
“In some cases, victims report after a day or two or even after a week while others don’t even report. In other challenging situations, claimants have no proof of ownership, be it a receipt or even a mark to prove ownership. That’s why we still have some of the recovered items.”
He advised people to buy from recognised shops, keep receipts and always report immediately when they lose anything or are robbed.
The Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Johnston Busingye, while presiding over the pass-out of graduands of the Police Basic Course, last week, said the Government is reviewing and repealing criminal laws to provide higher penalties to culprits and repeat offenders.