A few minutes after 10 pm Monday, unsuspecting passengers were disembarking from a vehicle which had brought them from Kissy Mess Mess, east of Freetown, to Sipthorpe Street in the west of Freetown when a group of hoodlums snatched their bags.
Few of the passengers who recovered quickly tried to give chase to rescue their treasures but were blocked by another team of boys which pretended that they were chasing the thieves and before anyone could understand what was happening they had all disappeared.
“My elder sister will be getting married tomorrow and there is millions in that bag to buy things for the wedding,” sobbed Mariatu.
She was one of the victims who were mugged Monday night. A total of six passengers from that Poda Poda were mugged that night.
“This is a daily occurrence,” said Salamatu Tejan a woman who sells provisions opposite the street where the mugging took place.
She said the hooligans were coming from Moa and Government Wharfs, and that the bulk of them were just street kids.
Salamatu said she had seen some of them even stab their victims to snatch things from them.
“I am surprised how these boys walk up to you majestically and snatch your bag, watch or mobile phone. It’s their zeal I am surprised at, they are just growing bolder and bolder and nobody is doing anything about it,” said Samuel Dixon.
“The situation has become alarming and this is happening all over the city especially along Sani Abacha Street, PZ, Siaka Stevens Street, Syke Street, and the Lumley Roundabout”, Philip Miller a civil Servant stated.
“What are the police doing about all this” has been the foreboding question asked by many people.
“It seems as if they are doing nothing about this,” said Salamatu, who recalled one of the boys being caught when he attempted to mug a lady.
“He was taken to the East End Police Station but soon afterwards he came back bragging that the police had set him free and that they were working hand in glove with some of the police so nothing would happen to him.”
Traders along PZ noted with dismay that there had been several complaints to the police about the rampant muggings around PZ and Sani Abacha Street but still law enforcement officials had not done anything about it, and have neither put the area under surveillance or even patrolled it.