John ODHE, Yenagoa
Rough days now await bandits who specialize in snatching of cell phones from unsuspecting residents of Yenagoa and other parts of Bayelsa State.
TNN’s independent findings reveal that the Bayelsa State police command, through strategic community policing, has devised a means of easily apprehending hoodlums who are in the habit of snatching people’s phones and selling same at cheaper rates to phone dealers who in turn reformat and resell to others.
It was gathered that when the miscreants snatch the phones from their victims, they would take them to phone dealers who would first of all flash the handsets including laptops as the case may be, in order to remove their security codes and unlock them for use.
TNN learnt that following the worrisome incessant snatching of phones by hoodlums especially in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State police command has handed stern warning to all phone dealers and buyers to desist from buying phones from persons who do not have evidences of ownership.
To this end, dealers have also been warned to alert the police whenever anybody came to them for flashing of phones without proof of ownership.
We also gathered that the police have strategically planted intelligence officers around major phone dealers to monitor and apprehend any suspects so as to bring the menace to its barest minimum.
As a result, three teenagers were rounded up two days ago at the Etegwe-Tombia roundabout in the state capital as they approached a certain dealer in an attempt to flash and sell a stolen phone.
On their arrival, the said dealer, who suspected the three teenagers due to their failure to prove the ownership of the phone they wanted to flash and sell, quickly alerted the police who came and rounded them up.
Before now, Etegwe-Tombia roundabout used to be a receptive ground for stolen phones where dealers were ready to by phones from anyone without recourse to the prove of ownership.
When contacted to speak on the new development, the Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in charge of the state command said the new strategy was in line with the Commissioner of Police’s community policing effort which according to him had reduced phone theft drastically in the state.