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Gulu City Police Detain 13 Over Theft of Solar Street Lights

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Police authorities in Gulu City have apprehended 13 individuals suspected of involvement in a series of incidents involving the destruction and theft of solar street lights installed across various streets within the city.

During an afternoon press conference on March 7th, the suspects were paraded at Gulu Central Police Station. Among those presented were Job Okwera, Sam Okot, Jimmy Odong, Erick Ogenrwot, Denis Okello, David Ojom, Patrick Oloya, Brian Komagum, Mercy Oyella, and Moses Opiro. Additionally, Francis Rwotomiya, a DJ at a local club, Francis Obia, a motorcyclist, and Richard Ojara, a petrol station attendant, were also included in the list of apprehended individuals.

Mr. David Ongom Mudong, the Aswa West Regional police spokesperson, confirmed the arrests, indicating that the suspects were linked to a string of incidents where solar panels were stolen from street lights along Walter Opwonya road within Gulu City. According to Mr. Ongom, an intelligence-led operation facilitated the apprehension of the suspects after multiple instances of vandalism were reported between January 2024 and the present.

“This is a syndicated criminal racket, and efforts to apprehend accomplices who remain at large have been intensified,” Mr. Ongom remarked during an interview. He urged the public to continue supporting efforts to protect public assets and government installations.

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A police team has visited the crime scenes to gather evidence and statements from witnesses. Investigations are ongoing, with the detectives actively preparing the case file. Upon completion, the file will be submitted to the Resident State Attorney for further review and potential legal action.

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Preliminary information suggests that the stolen solar panels, along with associated components such as batteries and charge controllers, were sold to dealers in neighboring towns such as Kitgum, Lira, and Kiryandongo. Mr. Christopher Lukwiya, the city’s electrical engineer, confirmed the connection between the arrested individuals and the vandalism of street lights along Walter Opwonya road.

Efforts to curb vandalism and theft of public infrastructure continue as law enforcement agencies work to bring perpetrators to justice and safeguard community assets in Gulu City.

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