Police in Kirinya have arrested a notorious vehicle number plates thief who has been extorting money from residents of Kirinya, Bukasa, Kito, Namataba and parts of Bweyogerere towns.
Tony Omaswa Ssemudu a resident of Kito was arrested with 14 stolen vehicle number plates. Number plates theft is on the rise because it brings in quick cash from the victims who fear traffic police penalties.
According to police, the thieves target parked cars in the residential neighbourhoods and parking yards in the Metropolitan Kampala and other towns.
ASP Celestine Nujonzima, OC Station Kirinya police station said they have been having a sleepless night for the last three weeks following numerous complaints from the residents that Ssemudu was vandalising their cars, leaving behind his name and telephone and mobile money numbers demanding for money before giving back the plates.
"We got his photography from the Facebook and distributed to people and started tracking him, good enough today we arrested him and he produced 14 number plates," Nujonzima said.
Ssemudu confessed to stealing the number plates but claimed he was only doing it for survival purposes.
"I was one time arrested and taken to Bweyogerere police station, then, a lady came complaining that they had stolen her number plate and the suspect is demanding Shs 2 million for her to get back the number plate, this is when I picked up the idea because I have been sent away from our home, I do not have ways of getting money to sustain my welfare so this is how I get money for living," he said.
Ssemudu was later transferred to Kira police station from where he will be produced to court. Deputy ASP Maliserino Mulema, chief investigating officer at Kira police said Ssemudu faces 14 counts.