Police in the highland city of Gbarnga in Central Liberia have raided several ghettos and criminals’ hideouts arresting a number of suspected criminals in their operation.
According to the commander of the Crime Services Division (CSD) of the Bong County Police Detachment Inspector, G. Alvin James, the police instituted the measure due to the alarming reports of armed robbery in the city in recent days.
Inspector James told the Daily Observer that the Detachment was assisted by the Police Support Unit (PSU) assigned at the Gbarnga Regional Justice and Security Hub and the UNMIL counterparts to implement the raid.
“Police will only be successful in operations like this if community members are eager to assist the police by providing information on criminals and their hideouts,” Inspector James emphasized.
Officer James, exclusively told the Observer that at least 20 suspected criminal were and arrested in the raid. According to him, 11 were charged with armed robbery and sent to the Gbarnga Magisterial Court for trial while they (officers) were still investigating the rest.
The county’s CSD boss lamented that his detachment had instituted a number of strategies to deal with the growing wave of criminal activities in the city. But he reminded residents to support the police by supplying them with pieces of information about criminals and their dens.
The exercise will be extended to other communities like Sergeant Kollie Town (SKT) and Palala, which he said are infested with hardened criminals.
This newspaper gathered that a lady only identified as Kormasa of Lorma Quarter in Gbarnga, who has been under surveillance by police and suspected of harboring the suspected criminals was apprehended by police during the raid, with several single barrel pistol guns and cutlasses as well as some harmful drugs in her possession.
Tuesday, armed robbers attacked a number of communities in Gbarnga leaving scores of community dwellers injured, while the criminals made away with several valuable items including cash.
Communities that were badly hit by the armed robbers included Plum Valley, Bassa Community, Baltimore Boulevard and Lelekpayea.
Early Tuesday morning the lifeless body of a 15-year-old boy whose family member, identified as Lami Jarkatay, was discovered in a warehouse of a garage on the Baltimore Boulevard. A single barrel bullet wound was found in the teenager’s chest.
Police in Gbarnga have not established who was responsible for the boy’s death; however stated that investigation is on-going.
A resident of Lelekpayea Community in Gbarnga, Emmanuel Duah, told this newspaper that on Sunday morning, July 13, armed robbers entered their home, put the tenants at gun point and took away their personal effects and other valuables.
Emmanuel Duah informed this reporter that the robbers were brandishing single barrel pistols to execute their operations.
This reporter was not able to talk to any of the suspected armed robbers as he was told by police that they (criminals) were undergoing police preliminary investigations.
Residents of Gbarnga, who spoke to this newspaper described the situation as worrisome and called on the Liberia National Police (LNP) and the Police Support Unit (PSU) assigned at the Gbarnga Regional Justice and Security Hub to increase their patrols, especially at night.
“I have noticed that every holiday season criminal activities are on the increase in Gbarnga. I think the only solution to this growing wave of armed robbery in the country is that the Government of Liberia should pass into law approving every citizen before he or she can possess fire arms,” Moses Flomo of the Gboveh Hill Community stated.