By DAISY TANIOVA PAWA
SEVEN car thieves, who included prison escapees and two primary school students, have been shot and wounded in Wau, Morobe province.
There was no further information from police in Lae yesterday on their condition or where they were being treated.
Police said the criminals, believed to be escapees from Buimo in Lae, were shot after being on the run in a stolen vehicle.
The criminals stole the vehicle from its owner in Lae last Wednesday and reportedly travelled to the remote Biaru area, through Wau.
According to a police report yesterday, the vehicle belonged to Mapai Transport, whose owner reported the matter to Wau police on Saturday.
On Sunday, police who were tasked to find the stolen vehicle came across the criminals along Wara Bung.
After an exchange of gunfire, the criminals surrendered when they sustained bullet wounds.
The intervention by the police prevented a major armed robbery that was supposed to take place, according to police in Wau.
They said the vehicle was to be used as a get-away vehicle after the robbery but could not say where the armed robbery was to take place.
The criminals were named as Tim Bapa, 20, of East Sepik province, Tai Magani, 20, of Simbu province, Benson Bill, 20, of Eastern Highlands province and Steven James, 25, of Mumeng LLG, Peter Kaimi, John Korong and Billy Wata, 22, of Waria LLG, Morobe province.
Two are said to be primary school students and all are said to be residents of Bulolo and Lae.
Meanwhile, police are looking for a security guard over the killing of a fellow guard at Kuranga.
The two were believed to be guards of a new small scale mining company.
Their dispute was reportedly over a mining lease.