Rwanda: Three Arrested in Crackdown on Electronics Theft in Kigali

The Rwanda National Police (RNP) have arrested three people in Nyarugenge District, suspected to be behind series of burglaries in the City of Kigali. The group targets electronics in shops and homes.

The trio arrested on April 16, include the ringleader identified as Jean-Paul Rwagasore, 34.

Others are Eric Uwihoreye, 32, and Daniel Nsanzabera, 44. Nsanzabera was mainly buying the assorted stolen electronics, which he was reselling on the black market.

Police also recovered assorted stolen electronic items from the suspects, including six laptops, two flat TV sets and eight digital cameras.

Others include four hard disks, two sound speakers, computer CPUs and amplifiers.

Rwagasore, who holds a degree in ICT, admitted that he started these shoddy dealings in December, last year, saying that he ventured into the vice after the collapse of his businesses.

In 2017, Rwagasore said, he started an electronics repair shop in Kazi ni Kazi business centre in Nyarugenge but bowed out after making losses.

He shifted to Uganda in 2019 where he also failed to sustain his business, returned to Rwanda in June 2020, and started smuggling second-hand clothes into the country from DRC.

"After all these losses, I started to steal targeting mainly electronics like computers and their accessories, phones and money, from different shops in Kigali," narrated Rwagasore.

Surveilling targeted shops

According to Rwagasore, he would make several visits to a targeted shop, get all the necessary information to successfully execute his plan.

"During that period surveilling a specific electronics shop, I would also obtain a copy of the key to the shop and get information on the best time to break in and grab valuable electronic items like phones, computers and even money," said Rwagasore.

Burglary record

In December 2020, Rwagasore allegedly broke into a shop at Inkurunziza Church in Nyarugenge and stole two laptops, two external hard disks, four flash disks, one digital camera with its two flashlights.

He later sold them to Nsanzabera for Frw350,000.

In February 2021, Rwagasore and Eric Uwihoreye stole three laptops, one digital camera and Frw77000 a shop called New Technology Ltd located in Gisozi, Gasabo District.

Rwagasore said that he also sold the laptops and camera to Nsanzabera for Frw250,000.

Also in February, investigations indicate that Rwagasore stole Frw27, 000 at a milk zone operating at near Iposita in Nyarugenge.

Early this month, Rwagasore and Uwihoreye broke into a shop opposite T2000 Shopping Mall where they stole 12 digital cameras, one laptop and a power bank.

Investigations further indicate that on April 13, Rwagasore stole three hair-cutting clippers, a flat TV and radio from a salon in Kacyiru, Gasabo District.

"We understand that Rwagasore was working with other people, who were buying these stolen items from him and selling them on the black market; their identities are known, they will be traced and arrested to face justice," Kabera said.

"Making losses in businesses, like Rwagasore claims, is not a reason to engage in such criminal activities; think about other legal ways to bounce back but not stealing. Even some of the businesses he claims he incurred losses were illegal like smuggling clothes and shoes," Kabera said.

The Spokesperson warned that like many other thieves have been arrested in the past, even those still involved in these criminal acts will soon be arrested.

"There is strong collaboration between the Police and the public, which is a strong tool to identify, locate and arrested any suspected criminal," he warned.

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