The Police in Akwa Ibom on Wednesday prevented irate youths from lynching an 18 year old burglar who broke into a boutique shop in Eket local government area of the state.
Eyewitnesses told newsmen that the suspect gained entrance into the shop located at 18 Uqua road by breaking through the ceiling.
The teenage burglar said to be an indigene of Ikot Ekpene local government area of the state was found inside the shop in the early hours of Wednesday when the shop owner opened the shop for the day’s business activities.
Mr Solomon Akpan, one of the eyewitnesses said, ”he (suspect) was caught right inside the shop after he picked and arranged all clothes he stole but could not escape through the ceiling which he used in gaining access to the boutique at night.
”The owner of the shop simply known as Affiong arrived in the morning and saw him on the floor with the looted wares as he could not escape”.
When contacted, Affiong said she was afraid when she opened her shop and saw someone sitting on the floor with heaps of clothes carefully arranged beside him.
“I was afraid to see an unknown person inside my shop as I open it for business of the day. I raised alarm and neighbours caught him.”
The landlord of the shop Mr Tommy Edoho said after giving the suspected burglar beatings of his life, he was moved to the youth president of Ekpene Ukpa village Mr Ime also known as ‘Presido’ for interrogation.
Our correspondent gathered that some angry youths intercepted at Ekpene Ukpa junction near Latter Glory Church where the suspect was forced to sit on the tarred road while receiving blows from the mob.
Chanting of war songs such as “thief oooo”, “ino”, kill him” while others rush to bring petrol in four litre container to burn the suspect alive.
The youth president Mr Ime who could not control the mob immediately called the police Anti Cultism unit , Eket Division to rescue the victim from the mob action.
In a telephone interview, the Police Public Relations Officer Supol Odiko Macdon said the matter was not reported at the state headquarters but assured that investigations would commence and culprit charged to court for justice to prevail.
He commended police officers in Eket division for rising to occasion by preventing jungle justice by the public.