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2 notorious robbers caught while stealing from church in Rivers State

Two men were arrested early Sunday morning while attempting to vandalise the iron on the fence of Emmanuel Anglican Church, Okoro-Nu-Odo by Rumuokoro Roundabout in Obio-Akpor local government area of Rivers State.

The suspects were apprehended around 2 am by the guards in the church.

However, there was a mild drama at the church premises during the interrogation of the robbery suspects before they were eventually handed over to the police at about 9 am as witnessed by our correspondent.

One of the suspects who gave his name simply as Henry, 19 years old, and from Oguta in Imo State but residing in Awalama community (the host community of the Church) said he has been a regular inmate at Degema prison in Rivers State.

“I have been in prison at the Degema Correctional Centre, where I was jailed for stealing cartons of noodles from a shop in Awalama community. For that offence, it was because of hunger. But for this one, (stealing iron on Church fence) we were arrested between 12 am and 2 am today by the Church security guards, while stealing iron fence protectors”.

“I’m a school dropout. I stopped at Primary two at Okoro-Nu-Odo Primary School. I was selling pure water (Sachet Water) before and stopped and later delved into selling of scraps,” he said.

Henry further revealed that scraps of iron are measured in kilograms. One kilogram sells for N200.

While pleading for leniency, he begged that the Holy Bible should be brought for him to swear that he would not steal again.

However, the second suspect who refused to reveal his true identity, admitted to being caught in the act while stealing church properties, especially iron protectors, said he hails from Obele in Ikwerre local government area of the State.

He claimed Henry invited him to commit the crime, but they were apprehended by the Church’s security guards.

The suspects told our correspondent that they have ready buyers of stolen properties, especially owners of scrapyards within the neighbourhood in Rumuokoro.

Investigations by our Correspondent revealed that criminal Scavengers had on two occasions cut the iron on the back gates of the church worth more than N200,000 at several times.

Due to the strategic location of the Church at the popular Rumuokoro Roundabout, the gate had to be replaced and the cost was borne by the Church and the Diocese of Niger Delta North, DNDN, Anglican Communion Security Company.

About three weeks ago, between 12 am and 2 am there was another raid by the scavengers who neatly cut off the recently replaced gate and this necessitated extra security measures that yielded results.

Some detectives from the Rumuodomaya Divisional Police Station identified the two suspects arrested on Sunday as habitual criminals who have been involved in sundry crimes ranging from burglaries to pickpocketing and robberies at the Rumuokoro axis of the State.

Sources in Emmanuel Anglican Church Okoro-Nu-Odo who pleaded anonymity confided in our Correspondent that there has been an upsurge in the theft of Church properties and the management has taken adequate measures to safeguard the properties.

The two suspects were handed over to the Special Area Divisional Police Station at Rumuodomaya for further investigations.

The two suspects were arrested between 12 am and 2am on Sunday December 24 by Security Guards attached to the Emmanuel Anglican Church Okoro-Nu-Odo while Church properties.

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