The festive season is a time of great cheer but it is also comes as a peak time for criminal activity. In such a season where everyone is keen on how they will spend the last days of the year, criminals take advantage of the chaos and anxiety to make a killing! Yes, we have “Magye” and police but there are still loopholes that play to the advantage of criminals. These are the most common crimes.
This is the most common during this season and social media walls are already littered with posts of people lamenting break-ins and thefts. Those involved always employ new techniques to break into homes or business premises. They are using sticks to open metallic doors that only have padlocks on the outside but not inside and sometimes they pour acid in door locks. Those who have guard dogs are not spared as they bait the dogs to sniff items like clothes doused in chloroform, sending them to sleep. Of recent they are getting more violent, breaking into houses and even injuring or killing their victims.
Terror at the gate
Some criminals are taking advantage of Ugandans outgoing nature and are waylaying them at their gates as they wait to get into their homes after nights out in the dead of the night. They use stones to smash car windows, robbing people of their belongings including cash, laptops and phones and they sometimes even get into the house with their victims targeting electronics and other valuables.
This kind of crime happens no matter the time of the day. Taxi goons have spiced up their game by involving women in a ploy to wade off suspicion. (It is public knowledge everybody expects the bad guys to be men). They pretend to be passengers, which gives the unsuspecting target relief that he won’t be delayed by an empty taxi looking for passengers. Out of the blue, they unleash terror. Armed with knives, pangas which are usually, under the seats, they grab all possessions of the passenger as the taxi is driven at neck-break speed. They usually wade off to low-traffic routes to complete the mission before throwing out their victim then target another and the sequence continues. It is worse late night and those who resist or fight back might lose their lives.
Mobile Money conmen
With several transactions made during festive season thanks to a spike in shopping and other expenditures, mobile money business is heavily targeted by criminals. These pranksters are smartly dressed giving the agent no sense of doubt of their financial muscle. They usually go to the Mobile Money agent and ask them to make a deposit on a certain number. As the transaction is being processed, they pretend to be receiving a phone-call before they disappear in thin air with a heavier account balance.
Luggage ‘lifters’ at malls and downtown shopping areas
With many rushing to villages for the festive season or shopping for the events ahead, some manual ‘lifters’ are actually targeting your valuables for their family too. They pretend to help you lift your luggage for a small fee. They usually take advantage of congestion in the city and vanish in the crowds. You ought to be swift and keep up with your luggage lifter’s pace or he is going to have a festive season and your Christmas won’t be merry.