MARACHA. Eight people suspected of masterminding burglary, theft of property and animals were early this week arrested by a group of youths in Oluvu sub-county, Maracha district.
The youths, majority of them being Boda Boda operators in Agayi trading centre resolved to end their frustration from the menace of unending theft of animals and property by identifying the suspects and arresting them since Sunday in an operation aimed at ending the vice.
The youths claimed that they swung into action over suspicion that the police and the local authorities failed to help the communities.
“We are tired of reporting to the police who are not taking action. We can’t allow few people to disorganize the whole community. These people stage ambushes at night in forests and rob people of their valuables like phones, money and that is why we said enough is enough,” the angry youths chanted.
One of the group members who took part in the operation but declined to be mentioned for fear of being arrested said it took more than three hours to round up the gang because one of the prime suspects wanted to maneuver his way to Democratic Republic of Congo through the thick vegetation around valleys.
He said the suspect only identified by his nickname as Driyo confessed in public after being arrested that the gang assigns duties to its members to steal things, admitting that he participated in stealing five cattle which he sold to a prominent businessman at Mbele trading centre in Ayivuni sub-county, Arua district.
He also stated that he stole two bicycles, one from Okokoro trading centre and sold them at shs80, 000 each in Odramacaku boarder market.
Mr Simon Acidri Yilla, a councillor at Oluvu Sub County explained that the youths were forced to act after a section of the suspects broke into a shop belonging to Mr Samuel Afedra at Agayi trading centre and stole electronic gadgets, cash and a sewing machine on Saturday.
“The communities here are leaving in fear after registering loss of over 300 herds of cattle and un-estimated number of goats, pigs, sheep and chicken to the thieves since November last year,” Acidri added.
Oluvu Sub County chairman, Mr Amos Atiku while addressing a security meeting at Agayi trading centre on Wednesday, appealed to the community members to cooperate and provide information about the youths with weird behaviour.
He appealed to the parents and relatives of the remaining suspects to voluntarily surrender them to police for legal action.
The Mraracha district youth councillor, Mr Francis Govule who also hails from Oluvu sub-county appreciated the efforts of the youths but cautioned them against taking the law into their hands.
“It is not fair for someone to steal an item one has suffered to get for years in one day. Let the youths carry their operation but hand over the suspects to the police without harming them,” Govule advised.
The police was forced to fire live bullets to rescue the first seven suspects arrested on the first day of the operation from the mob due to the injuries inflicted on their bodies.
Maracha DPC, Mr John Faustine Oesse pledged to investigate the suspects handed over to the police and later forward them to court.