Ethiopian capital bans motorcycle use due to rising ride-by theft

ADDIS ABABA; June 19 (Ethiopian Informer) – Addis Ababa City Administration on Wednesday said it will ban motorcycle use as of July 8 due to rising trend of ride-by thefts and robberies across the main streets of the capital.

Addis Ababa City Deputy Mayor, Takele Uma, told journalists on Wednesday that the decision to ban motorcycle use, which is said to take effect as of July 8, was made in an effort to halt the mounting criminal activities as a growing number of robbers in recent months apply motorcycle-assisted ride-by thefts.

Takele, who noted a rising trend of robbery incidents assisted with motorcycles, said that the curfew on motorcycle use will not affect acclaimed businesses as well as the diplomatic community.

The decision on banning the use of motorcycles came months after police in Addis Ababa warned perpetrators to abstain from such threats, which often leaves victims with physical assault as they attempted to maintain their belongings.

According to figures from the Addis Ababa Police Commission, more than 60 ride-by thefts were reported in Addis Ababa during the first half of the current 2018-2019 Ethiopian fiscal year that started on July 8, 2018.

Warning the public to take caution against the rising trend of similar theft incidents, police also disclosed that half the perpetrators, from the total 61 motorcycle-assisted theft incidents over the past six-month period, were caught by police.

Growing number of victims and witnesses of similar theft incidents in recent months spoke their experiences, in which many motorcycle-assisted offenders travel across streets in Addis Ababa while the person behind the driver grab items out of the victims’ hands as they drive past.

Offenders are also said to take advantage of passengers who are often distracted by their mobile phones on sidewalks with much focus on their phones, in which majority of such incidents ended up violently as victims attempt to keep their properties.

Most of the perpetrators are also said to target women passengers, eventually raiding their purses along crowded streets of the city.

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