Church guard shot during arrest after raid

Church guard shot during arrest after raid
Church guard shot during arrest after raid

Africa-Press – Uganda. Fort Portal Central division police are investigating the break-in at St John’s Cathedral of Ruwenzori diocese in Fort Portal City that resulted in Shs 13 million worth of church items being stolen.

SP Vicent Twesige, a police spokesperson for Ruwenzori West, confirmed the incident on Wednesday, saying that the break-in occurred last Saturday and church items, including a keyboard and two speakers, were stolen. As of Wednesday, no items had been recovered.

According to the police statement, the case was reported by the diocese cathedral Dean, Rev Canon Ezra Musobozi.

“On the fateful morning of 18/02/2024 at about 06:30 am, one Samuel Kisembo, a custodian at St John’s Cathedral Fort Portal, woke up in preparation for the Sunday church service. Surprisingly, he found the main entry door to the church open, yet he had previously left it locked and intact. Upon entering the church, Mr Kisembo discovered that two JBL speakers (SRX715F), and a Roland G6 Phantom keyboard, had been stolen and the service generator had been tampered with,” reads part of the statement.

In addition, the church’s inner toilets and vestry (church dressing room) doors were broken. The incident prompted Kisembo to notify the Cathedral Dean, Rev Canon Musobozi, who reported the case to Fort Portal Central police station, leading to investigations.

SP Twesige mentioned that statements were obtained from two witnesses, the crime scene was visited, and latent fingerprints were lifted from the tricycle padlock of the JBL speaker mount metallic box.

He said that the perpetrators might have used a hook to unlock the inner lock of the main door, as it was found locked from the inside.

Despite the church being guarded by the private security firm Saracen, SP Twesige mentioned that the security company was tasked with producing the personnel on duty that night.

“Kakuru, the security firm manager and an armed man named Kentaro went to Bukumbe village, Kitaka ward, North Division Fort Portal City to track down Bagenda Elijah, a 39-year-old security guard that was on duty that night,” he said.

Bagenda attempted to escape while riding a motorcycle, leading Kentaro, who was armed with a pistol, to shoot him in the lower abdomen. The suspect sustained injuries and was taken to Kabarole hospital for treatment.

Police are waiting to interview the injured suspect to determine whether he was involved in the church break-in and theft. Additionally, fingerprints lifted from Bagenda will be compared with those obtained at the crime scene, and efforts are being made to recover the stolen items.

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