Monrovia and its environs have been besieged by wave of armed robbery attacks in recent times with series of incidents in January alone characterized by massive looting of victim’s valuables, cash and injuring some, having killed a forex bureau operator on 9th Street, Sinkor ending of 2016.
In a rather troubling armed robbery incident on Johnson Street on Tuesday night, 9 January suspects arrested so far appear to look as young as people in their early 20s or below, and yet carrying what police called “home – made” single barrel gun against their targets.
Two forex bureau operators, Lawrence Junior and Amos Nyemah were allegedly victimized in the Johnson Street’s armed robbery attack at the hands of nine suspects, who allegedly snatched away 210 pieces of scratch cards during the 10pm robbery operation.
The incident on 9 January was followed by another armed robber attack against former National Patriotic Party (NPP) Chairman Mr. Cyril Allen in the Sand Beach Community of Duazon, Margibi County on 10 January.
Mr. Allen sustained injuries and lost US$400, one Toshiba laptop valued US$1,200 along with his passport. Four of the nine suspects involved in the Johnson Street’s attack reportedly escaped, according to police.
But among five suspects arrested include Sally Williams, Nancy Wleh and Mohammed Konneh, all of whom are undergoing police investigation at the National Police Headquarters on Capitol Hill.
Suspect Nancy Wleh claimed she was not a part of the armed robbery operation, but the guys who allegedly did the act had gone to her business place to smoke when one of them,Ballah, gave her a bag that she claimed she did not know contained a single barrel gun.
She narrated that upon their arrival at her business place, the suspects confessed that they caused trouble, though she admitted following them afterwards to sell phone on Broad Street.
When they returned to her house in Slipway, Nancy continued that Ballah’sgun bag was on her lap when Crimes Services Division or CID agents of the Liberian National Police arrived there and arrested her and the other suspects.
The four male suspects that are being investigated along with Nancy did not admit to the crime, arguing across the floor, as Police Spokesman Sam Collins addressed journalists on Wednesday, 11 January.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Collins said the suspects in question had attacked victims Lawrence Junior and Amos Nyemah on Johnson Street and took away 210 scratch cards in an armed robbery incident.
He explained that after the incident, the “home -made” single barrel gun used by the suspects in the operation was retrieved from suspect Nancy Wleh when police ambushed and arrested five suspects, while four escaped.
He said Nancy is a baby mother of a notorious armed robbery jailed at the Monrovia Central Prison only identified as “Bin Laden”, adding that the suspects involved will be duly investigated and if culpable, will be charged appropriately and sent to court for prosecution.
Due to the wave of armed robbery attacks, Mr. Collins said police will be enforcing Inspector General Gregory Coleman’s declaration “Stop and Frisk” to help search suspicious people for weapons such as guns, cutlasses and other deadly instruments.
At the same time Collins has urged money exchangers here to stop operating during late hours to avoid being attacked by robbers, as police will not be in every corner at the same time.
In another development, the DCP disclosed that Sherman Momo has been charged with murder and sent to court in connection to the death of victim SiahTamba, a sex worker that sparked demonstration in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County recently.
He says 11 persons have also been charged with armed robbery in connection with the 7 January massive violence in Grand Bassa following Siah’s death.
By Winston W. Parley-Editing by Jonathan Browne