FORT PORTAL –Two people believed to be suspects in the rampant thefts of vehicle number plates in Fort Portal and neighbouring districts have been arrested after an intelligence led mission.
Vincent Twesige – the Rwenzori West Police Spokesperson confirmed the arrest, identifying the suspects as Patrick Kisembo and Sharon Kabonesa. Twesige told journalists while displaying the recovered number plates that the suspects were arrested on Monday during a joint security operation.
Twesige said that Kisembo was arrested from one of the guest houses in Fort Portal city –naming Kabonesa as his accomplice. Upon interrogation, Twesige said, Kisembo led the police to hiding place of the stolen number plates – from where at least11 pairs as well as single plate were recovered.
The Police mouthpiece added that Kisembo had narrated how after plucking off the number-plates, he would leave behind his contact on the victim vehicle with a note – requesting for a pay in exchange vehicle registration identity.
Twesigye revealed further that Kisembo would ask for a ransom of between Ugx0.2m but would be flexible in negotiations – accepting as little as half for a pair or Ugx0.05m a plate.
Twesige noted that the vice of number plate thefts had become rampant in the city with police recording at least 10 cases on a monthly basis in the area. He said that the rate had become higher because most victims paid a ransom to recover their vehicle registration plates instead of notifying the police.
Norman Musinga, the Rwenzori West Police Commander cautioned the public against paying the people who steal the number plates -saying the action facilitates the escalation of the vice. He also cautioned mobile money agents against making transactions where a client tells them to withdraw money from the phone without appearing physically.
Musinga said that the recovered number plates would be returned to rightful claimants – after proof of ownership like log books, and sales agreements.
Additional reporting by URN
Leave a Reply