Tracking device foils gunpoint carjacking

When a midnight call reached the owner of taxi with registration number GS6341-13 that armed men had seized his vehicle, he froze in panic and won­dered why such a tragedy should befall him.

The 30-year-old taxi driver, Yaw Asiedu, was working through the night when, just before midnight, two well dressed gentle­men stopped him at East Legon.

As soon as they sat in the car, they both drew out pistols and pointed them at him, ordering him to step out of the car if he valued his life.

He got out of the car obediently and watched the gunmen speed off towards Madina, a suburb of Accra. That was when he called the owner of the car, Ike Bediako, an Accra- based business man.

According to Mr Bedi­ako, the first thing he did when he 'returned to his senses' was to quickly call the police.

While waiting for a response from the police, he recalled that a tracking device had been installed on his vehicle months ear­lier, although he had never really taken its mon­itoring seriously.

"I must confess that until this incident hap­pened to me, I always con­sidered carjacking a rather farfetched possibility. I hear about it and read about it in the papers but I never ever thought it could happen to me.

"I had a tracker installed on the car just to# observe my driver's movement in Accra and how he used my car …I had never thought about the loss of my car to armed robbers," he con­fessed.

He said at about 9:00am, he called Look Security Systems, the tracking company which installed the monitoring device on his taxi, and reported that the car had been stolen at East Legon and that according to the driver, the robbers had headed straight towards Madina.

He said within just two minutes of his call, Peter Carr, Director of Look Security, called him back to say that his car was nowhere near Madina and that it had been locat­ed, stationary, on a side- road in Kotobabi Down, near Alajo.

"The most interesting part of this drama is that, when I asked Mr Carr whether my taxi was safe and how we could recover it, he told me unless the vehicle is towed by the robbers, it will wait right where it is until I and the police got there because he had demobilised it by shutting off the engine completely. To think that he did that from his office in Weija is incredible!"

Mr Bediako said when he arrived at Kotobabi Down in the company of an armed police escort and staff of Look Security Systems, the car was indeed parked on the exact location described by Mr Carr, with all the windows rowed up but deserted on the side road.

Police sources say cars highjacked at gunpoint as was in the case of Mr Bediako are usually canni­balised for sale to car part dealers in Accra and Kumasi or simply used for other major robberies,