Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command said yesterday it arrested 985 crime suspects, recovered 88 firearms and118 ammunition in 2019.
It also recovered 63 stolen vehicles within the period.
The command also paraded four armed robbery suspects involved in the robbery of the Mpape branch of the First Bank on December 28.
The suspects – Larry Ehizo, 30; Timothy Joe, 21; Princewill Obinna and Elijah David, are presently undergoing interrogation.
The suspects were outgunned and arrested by a combined team of the police and the military in a daring robbery operation.
Giving a breakdown of the crime statistics within the period under review, the FCT Police Commissioner, Bala Ciroma, said 29 kidnap suspects and 210 armed robbery suspects were arrested.
He said 513 suspects were arrested for petty theft, while 86 were apprehended for car theft.
Ciroma said the command also arrested 77 one-chance suspected robbers/fraudsters, while 70 suspects were picked up for drugs/cultism-related offences.
Parading the suspects, the police commissioner said one of the suspects and staff of First Bank, Ehizo, collaborated with the robbers, drove them into the bank and led them to the banking hall.
The bank staffer also provided the robbers black clothes to cover their faces in a bid to evade identification.
Items recovered from them include four locally-made pistols, two cutlasses, two daggers, one axe, one plier, one saw blade, and a Peugeot 206 with registration number SBG 752FP.
Ciroma said efforts were on to track other fleeing suspects.
“The proactive effort of the command has led to the arrest of notorious suspects involved in armed robbery, one chance robbery, cultism, rape, kidnapping, car theft, theft, drug abuse and other related crimes.
“Similarly, within the year, the command has successfully smashed and dislodged hideouts used for nefarious criminal activities and recovered firearms, other dangerous weapons used for criminal operations and large quantity of dried leaves suspected to be marijuana (Indian hemp)”, he said.
The FCT Police boss also warned criminals to steer clear off the nation’s capital.
“I want to sound this note of warning to criminals that they have no place in the FCT. The Command has deployed proactive security measures to beat them at their game. “The only option available to criminals nursing any thought of coming to FCT is to either repent and turn a new leaf or be prepared to face the full wrath of the law”, said.
Ciroma assured FCT residents of better service delivery in 2020.
“As we advance into the New Year, I want to assure the public that the Command is making concerted effort to build on its numerous successes of 2019 and provide FCT residents with better service delivery in 2020”.