Police in Mbarara are holding 3 people alleged to have plucked over 500 number plates from vehicles, demanding for ransoms from the car owners.
The suspects are; Arnold Nasasira, Sured Kanyesigye and Rashid Seruwada, from Katete in Nyamitanga and Kakoba, in Mbarara Municipality.
Rwizi regional police spokesperson Samson Kasasira, says the trio was netted in a weekend crack down .
The Police mouthpiece said a number of people in Mbarara had come to report to the police about their missing number plates and being contacted by the thugs for money ranging from Shs. 200,000-500000.
“We asked the car owners not to send the money, as we kept tracking the thugs until we had three of them in custody,” he said.
Kasasira said the group was trailed by tracking the mobile money agents where they withdraw the money sent to them by the victims.
“They have specific mobile money agents where they withdraw from so we tracked their lines to the mobile money agents where they withdraw this money from”
During the arrest, Kasasira confirmed that one of the suspects Arnold Nasasira was shot and injured in the leg as he tried to escape.
“This suspect tried to divert the car from the road into River Rwizi and in as he attempted to jump out, he was shot.”
He added, “We did this because we no longer want to put our officers at risk. Police invests a lot of money in training these officers; we can’t let one thug take out five officers just because he wants to survive; so as police we are telling anyone indulging in these acts that if it means putting you out of action we will do it.”
Among those that complained to have lost their plates included the LC 5 Chairman Isingiro district Jeremiah Kamurali whose number plate, UAV 011U was plucked off from his car in his home in Kakoba Division Mbarara.
Kamurali said people called demanding for Shs 200,000 Shs if he wanted to get his plates.