By DULCIE OREKE
A LOADED AR15 rifle belonging to the Waigani police station in Port Moresby, which was stolen from a police vehicle at Morata last week, was returned yesterday.
A joint community effort at Morata 2 suburb resulted in the weapon being returned.
The rifle, which is one of only two guns in the station’s armoury, was stolen from the police vehicle during the course of an official run that officers were attending to, police station Commander Insp Casmiro Aia said yesterday.
Insp Aia said no words and no sum of money could compensate for what the youths had accomplished, adding that it was a very rare case in which the youths had assisted in the safe return of such an item.
Police were responding to a call in the area regarding an incident when the rifle was stolen.
Insp Aia said while one of the officers was outside the parked car querying suspects involved in the reported matter, one youth sneaked off and headed towards the waiting police car, pretending to know the officer.
When he noticed that an officer sitting opposite the driver was unaware, he reached inside the car and grabbed the gun, before fleeing.
Eight other youths responded immediately when they realised what had happened and chased the thief.
He was eventually caught and beaten up severely before he managed to escape again.
Insp Aia said there was no chance of recovering a gun lost in a hostile community and he was almost speechless during the presentation.
“These boys are heroes and I take off my cap to them,” Insp Aia said.
He called on other youths in the city to follow suit for the betterment of their communities and everybody else.
Insp Aia said it was a positive sign of youths assisting police and not working against them.
Meanwhile, one of the youth representatives, Daniel Konny, said they were tired of their community’s negative image and believed that a combined effort would help maintain a safe society for the welfare of their women and children.