By Soliu Woru Mohammed
The common ploys adopted by armed robbers include, using available means to seek for information on their target. They are interested in knowing the movement, ability of their target and they can do this by making a casual phone call to your house or office or inquire from your children, house help and office personnel. They can also pose as stranger needing direction or as electricity meter readers. Whatever be the means they will stylishly, ask from whoever is at home any information they are interested in gathering about their target.
Such information could also be passed on to the armed gang either intentionally or unintentionally by a close friend of yours. Similarly, before an armed gang attacks in any place, they must have kept such area under surveillance for days to ascertain the position of the property to be stolen, to know at what time to strike, their possible entrance and escape routes and more importantly to study the security arrangement of the place.
This informs reasons the police usually advice the public to educate members of their household not to give out any information about their families or businesses to strangers. They should also refrain from telling everybody of any proposed trip outside their domain. Such information should be strictly restricted to trusted few as the person you least expect could turn out to be the culprit.
Armed robbers may come to the area they want to attack individually in order to avoid being noticed or as group for an immediate and forced operation. They could either trek or use vehicles. They are impatient with time just as they fear being identified. Armed robbers detest resistance. For them, resistance is a killer of time.
Accordingly, whenever an armed gang confronts a person that is likely to identify them or resist them, they become extremely provoked instead and hence, violent, it is advisable therefore that even when you clearly identify any member of an armed gang do not call his name or do anything to show him that. They are armed and you do not have the ability to foil their attack, do not resist their demands. Rather, take note of their general features like mode of dressing, physical description and general modes of operation and inform the police as immediate as possible. If you resist or shout their names you stand the risk of being killed.
In fact, experience has shown that some armed robbers take delight in shooting indiscriminating at their target to ward off resistance, retain what was robbed or to provide easy escape for themselves. This is why you must be extremely careful when confronted by armed robbers.
Armed robbers retreat to their hideout after an operation. It is at this same place they meet to plan their devilish operation. Such hideout could be hotels, uncompleted building or uninhabited buildings in the bush at restricted areas of the town and in on some occasions in the house of one of their members or accomplices.
Therefore, when you notice an unusual meeting of strange looking people at unusual hours in your area, report promptly to the nearest police station.
The most disturbing aspect of armed robbery is the role of buyers of stolen items. If an armed robber is not sure of making profit from his loot, through certain guaranteed outlets, chances are that he would not engage in the bloodletting business. The members of the public that connive with armed gang by buying their stolen items are most guilty because they encourage them. Once such road is closed, armed robbery will decrease.
Finally, as the present war against nefarious activities of the men of the underworld continue, I commend the Kwara State Police Commissioner and his men for reducing the menace of armed robbery in the state by promptly arresting the culprits and bringing them to book.
I also commend the Executive Governor of Kwara State, His Excellency, Alhaji Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed for supporting the Force with sophisticated equipment and vehicles to combat the menace of armed robbery in the state.