Suspected serial thief arrested with stolen phones, flat-screen TVs

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Adjumani, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | Police in Adjumani in the Northern Region of Uganda have arrested a suspected serial phone thief, Stephen Weliga.

Suspected as the mastermind behind the recent surge in smartphone thefts across Adjumani and Obongi districts, Weliga was apprehended from Paridi village, Adjumani town council, with the aid of Local Council officials on Monday 13, May 2024.

Kilo Atoba, the LC I chairperson of Paridi village, disclosed that authorities stumbled upon six stolen smartphones valued at approximately Shs 2 million in Weliga’s hideout, along with other items like flat-screen TVs during raid.

Atoba further revealed that Weliga had been been terrorizing, instilling fear among residents in both the Adjumani and Obongi districts for the past four months.

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Instances of theft have been widespread in Adjumani district since the onset of the year, with locations such as Adjumani town council, Arinyapi, Dzaipi, Pakele, Ofua, and Pachara sub-counties bearing the brunt. Local authorities in these regions report an average of 3-4 theft cases weekly.

According to the annual police crime report for 2023, a total of 7,407 cases of mobile phone theft were reported in 2023, marking a 6.8 per cent increase compared to 6,936 cases in 2022. The report highlights that most of these thefts occur through snatching from unsuspecting members of the public.