Kampala — Police yesterday raided shops in Katwe, a Kampala suburb, for the third day in a row and recovered more than 27 motorcycles suspected to have been stolen from different parts of Kampala City.
Police officers arrested at least eight suspects. They are also hunting for more than six others suspected to be behind the theft of the motorcycles.
Kampala Metropolitan Police deputy spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire said the operation was intelligence led and officers tracked the suspects' chain of supply.
"The shops have been fuelling robberies of motorcycles around the country. They have been buying stolen motorcycles and dismantle them and then sell spare parts," Mr Owoyesigyire said yesterday.
Police officers led by Katwe Police Division Commander Frantile Rwamusayi condoned off the entire White Nile Zone in Katwe I Parish as they searched shops.
The suspects are to be arraigned in court on charges of robbery and being in possession of stolen property.
Mr Owoyesigyire said spare parts suspected to be from stolen motorcycles have also been recovered and verification is still ongoing.
Katwe is known as one of the biggest hub for used motorcycles and their spare parts in the country.
Mr Owoyesigyire said since most stolen motorcycles are dismantled and sold as spare parts, it is very difficult for the owners to trace them.
"The operation against sale of stolen motorcyclesstarted on Saturday and it is going to continue in other parts of Kampala Metropolitan Police where this type of crime is committed," he said.
This is the third time police are carrying out an operation in the same area in less than five years.
Mr Owoyesigyire said there was no way they could deal with the robberies of motorcycles unless they have ensured that the supply is cut off.
Motorcycle robbery. Robbery of motorcycles is too high in the country. Many riders are killed or harmed before their motorcycles are stolen.
According to the police crime and traffic safety report, 17,000 motorcycles were stolen in a period between 2016 and 2017.
However, police recovery of stolen motorcycles is less than 10 per cent.