When I wrote about how I was robbed in Limbe a few ago, I had no hope of ever knowing who was the culprit behind it. My own way of getting justice was cursing him profusely and the money that had been stolen from me. However, the universe sometimes will hear your cry and serve justice in the best possible way.
If you remember from the previous post, I mentioned the many tricks thieves in Limbe have. I also mentioned how amazed I am at the new tricks they have to rob people. The best part of how they caught this specific culprit lies in another victim’s story. Let me share it with you.
Yiannakis, Limbe: The New Robber’s Playground
When you hear someone say they are mortified of Limbe and all the thievery that happens, they end up sharing how they are the most scared of the market or Kapenga side of Limbe. Those are the places that are heavily dense and a lot of crime tends to be there.
Many believe places like Yiannakis to be a little quieter, until when the dark comes. That was my belief too until the events of this week that shook me to the core. Yiannakis has become the place where the thieves come to rest and make easy money. One would think that it is because we lose our guard in such places, not expecting anything to happen. And that is when they strike.
of stolen money in the minibus
Like I said, the story of how this thief was caught entirely lies on somebody else, that person being a messenger from my office. A week ago, he was given cash by my boss to deliver to someone by the Kapenga stage. They did the counting in the office to make sure he had taken the right amount of money, and also to erase any margins of error where the messenger claimed something different.
After they had both agreed that the cash was right, off the messenger went to deliver. Due to the urgency of the matter, he decided to board a minibus by the Yiannakis stage. It was all roses and peaches until it was not.
Upon getting to Kapenga, he noticed that some of the money had escaped his pockets and was scattered across the seat. Immediately, he started picking the notes and counting. To his surprise, about two hundred and ten thousand kwacha (about $150) was missing. He did not understand how it had gone missing.
Immediately, he dropped off the minibus and took another one back to work to explain the situation. When he explained the story, a lot of people in the office thought it was a mere cover, and most of us questioned the likability of him just being his thief. However, a police visit was done and a report was written.
mobile money agents know a lot of Limbe’s secrets
One of the key players in the cities and towns is mobile money agents, a lot of people downplay just how much information they hold. I knew this one time when I was almost robbed in Blantyre CBD, and one agent alarmed me that I was being targeted. She made me sit by her little desk and only allowed me to continue with my journey when the guy was completely gone.
I digress! Anyway, just like I felt about being robbed in Limbe, this guy felt the same. Unlike me, he has been working in Limbe for 40 years and was confident he knows it and the tricks like the back of his hand. He just could not fathom how his money had been stolen in the minibus.
He went to one of the agent ladies by the Yiannakis stage whom he is very “friendly” to share his story. Immediately after he was done elaborating, she had already shown a face of knowing. A light bulb had shone in her mind and she knew who was behind it.
She shared the new trick that thieves now have in Limbe. A group of them play a game of rotation. One is stationed by Yiannakis, and the other is close to the mosque in Limbe. They both analyze the people boarding minibusses and only jump in one when they see potential. In this case, this guy had noticed the money shoved in the back pocket of our office messenger.
They make sure to sit close to you in the minibus and strike when they are certain you are distracted. If there is money pointing out from a handbag, they will swiftly take it. If it is in the pocket, they will pull it out. That is how he got robbed.
She was certain about one thing, he would be back by that same stage.
It took days before he reappeared ready for his day job. He was spotted on Wednesday. She alerted the messenger that he had boarded a bus to Kapenga but would likely be back within the hour. The messenger went ahead to alert his friends who all went by the stage to ceremoniously welcome him.
Within 30 minutes, he was back and safely wrapped in their arms.
They brought him to the office before taking him to the police station to prove to my boss that the money had indeed been stolen. That is when I saw his face. He was short and a little light-skinned, dressed nicely (assuming it is a ploy so no one ever doubts him), with some weathered Jordans on his feet. His face looked shy, but his eyes were cold.
When they finally decided to take him to the Limbe police station, his face was swollen, he was barefoot, and he had been stripped off of his pants. The welcome he got from one of the officers was “iwe, wabwerelanso kale” meaning “You are back here already”.
proving a point
After they had taken him to the police, I had this tingling feeling in my body. I had a feeling that I had seen his face on the evening that I was robbed. To prove a point, I was over to the agent lady and narrated my story. To my surprise, she already knew the story.
This stupid man had bragged about how he had gotten bank the night before to the people by the stage. He went ahead to buy them all boiled eggs like it was Christmas. I could tell she was sorry, and she kept telling me that if she knew I was the one who was robbed, she would have done something about it or at least gotten my money back.
However, I was just glad he was in the cell. He went on to accept that he indeed had stolen the 210,000 thousand. 80,000 was shared with his partner, 50,000 was used for alcohol and women, and the rest was still stashed in his house. The remaining money was handed over to the police yesterday as evidence of his crime.
One Limbe robber was caught, and I am glad. Even though I know he probably won’t be locked up for a long time and will be back in the street to terrorize more people.
I needed to share this Limbe Chronicle, I hope you enjoyed reading this. Please be sure to comment below.