It was a black day for armed robbers in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, yesterday as the police foiled attempts to rob a bureau de change shop, killing two and arresting three other armed robbery suspects.
The suspects, who rode on motorcycles to the bureau de change in Sabo area of the city around 5:30 pm, swooped on the shop and ordered the customers and operators to surrender all currencies in their possession.
A member of the gang, who manned the entrance of the shop, was said to have fired a shot into the air to scare off neighbours and passers-by, forcing them to scamper for safety.
But the gunshot confirmed to residents an armed robbery was taking place, forcing them to contact the police.
The command swiftly mobilised members of a special task force code named Skynet from the nearby Mokola Police Division, who cordoned off the shop.
On sighting the police, the armed bandits were said to have made attempts to escape by engaging them in a gun duel.
Two of the five-member gang were killed in the crossfire while three others were arrested.
The gun duel caused pandemonium in the Sabo/Mokola area as residents, passers-by and motorists scampered for safety.
While shop owners and customers ran for cover, motorists abandoned their vehicles.
The development also caused a terrible traffic snarl in the area
The bandits’ eventual defeat triggered jubilation among residents in the area and restored normalcy.
Residents, traders and motorists hailed the police for a job well done.
The corpses and three suspects were taken to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) headquarters in Iyaganku.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Mrs. Olabisi Ilobanafor, confirmed the incident.
Ilobanafor, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) said: “I want to use this medium to express gratitude to residents of Mokola.
“They joined hands with the police to bring these robbers to their kneel. They gave the police necessary backing. We implore other residents to emulate them. Security is everybody’s business.”
She warned criminals to stay away from the state, saying the command was battle-ready for them.