Police foil Christmas day robbery in Benin, kill one

The police in Edo State on Friday said it foiled a daylight robbery around the Technical College Road area of Benin City.

This happened after some gunmen had successfully robbed a victim of his Toyota Camry and proceeded to a supermarket to continue with their operation.

PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the unnamed deceased gunman and his fleeing cohorts on Christmas stormed a house at the Uselu axis of Benin City and forcefully entered all the apartments in the building.

A witness, Osaretin Osaigbovo, told our correspondent that in one of the apartments, the gunmen forcefully took the key of a Toyota Camry that was parked in the compound, which they used in packing several household items before zooming off.

Mr Osaigbovo said after the successful robbery operation where they collected cash, mobile phones, and other personal items, the deceased suspect and his gang shot sporadically into the air to scare the residents.

He said, “They then went on an alleged armed robbery spree attacking and robbing any shop insight. The hoodlums later attacked a confectionary shop along Technical College Road in Uselu and robbed the owner of the shop and all her customers.

“During the armed robbery operation, a distress call was quickly sent to men of the Ugbowo Police Division who responded swiftly. When they sighted the police, the hoodlums opened fire, but one of them fell to the superior firepower of the police as he was fatally hit by police bullets. Other gang members then abandoned the snatched Toyota Camry car and escaped.”

Some of the victims commended Edo State Police Command and some vigilante group members for their timely intervention.

One of the victims, Abraham Akpokiniovo, said he had gone to the supermarket to buy drinks when the shop was attacked.

“I did not expect it at all. I was in the supermarket shopping when they struck. But before long, the police came and there was a gun duel which led to the death of one of the hoodlums. We want to commend the police for their swift response,” Mr Akpokiniovo said.

When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Chidi Nwabuzor, who confirmed the incident, said “other members of the gang escaped with gunshot wounds.”

Mr Nwabuzor, a Superintendent of Police, advised hospital operators “to watch out for those with fresh gunshot wounds in Edo State and report to the nearest police station as they commence treatment”.

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He said, “Items recovered from the suspect include one locally made pistol and the Toyota Camry car with registration number KNH 703 HW.”

The PPRO said the body of the suspect has been deposited in the mortuary for autopsy and further investigation.

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