A notorious thief who plies his trade on buses run by the State Transport Company (STC) has been fined GH¢1,200 by the Kaneshie District Court for stealing two laptops belonging to passengers.
In default, 23-year-old Michael Peprah will serve a three-month jail term.
The court, presided over by Ms Rosemond Dodua Agyiri, sentenced Peprah to the fine on Wednesday after he pleaded guilty to two counts of stealing before the court.
According to the Prosecutor, Sergeant Eric Pobee, Peprah patronises STC buses regularly to conduct his stealing operations.
The convict’s modus operandi was to wait for other passengers to alight at a rest stop and then steal their items, especially electronic gadgets.
On September 13, 2017, Peprah boarded an STC bus from Accra to Takoradi with the intention to steal.
The prosecutor explained that the bus stopped for a 10-minute rest at Anomabo in the Central Region, during which time all the passengers alighted, with the exception of Peprah.
When the passengers boarded the bus again, two of them realised that their Apple and HP laptops valued at GH¢7,000 and GH¢1,500 respectively were missing. They, therefore, reported the incident to the management of STC.
“A review of the closed circuit television (CCTV) device on the bus by the management of STC revealed that Peprah stole the two laptops the victims had left on their seats, concealed them in his black back-pack and bolted from the bus,’’ the prosecutor said.
Sgt Pobee revealed that on September 19, 2017, Peprah went to the STC yard at Awudome in Accra to purchase a travelling ticket to Takoradi to apparently continue with his stealing activities.
“Luck, however, eluded him when he was identified by a staff member of STC as the one seen in the CCTV footage. He was accordingly arrested and handed over to the police,’’ he said.
Police investigations, the prosecutor added, revealed that Peprah had been involved in the theft of several laptops and other gadgets belonging to passengers on many STC buses.
After Peprah had pleaded guilty, he begged the court to forgive him, because he had a three-month-old baby to take care of.
“Please have mercy on me because there will be no one to take care of my baby,” he pleaded.