The Alarming Menace That Troubles the People of Kano; Imposing Stricter of Death, Severe Injuries for Victims

Kano – Phone snatching has become a major concern in Kano Metropolitan, with many residents falling victim to this crime. In some cases, phone snatchers have used violence to take phones from their victims, causing injuries, wounds, or even death.

Ibrahim Indabawa is a businessman who used to sell fabrics in Kwari market. He was on his way home when he noticed a group of youths who were closely following him at Filin Sarki in Dorayi quarters. In his attempt to escape from them, they attacked him, stabbed him, and caused serious injuries to his back. They also removed one finger from his hand.

One of the victims of phone snatching

This type of crime has become increasingly common in many urban areas in Nigeria, including Kano Metropolitan. Phone snatchers often target individuals who are using their phones in public places, such as sidewalks, parks, and markets. Sometimes they use tricycles and other means of transport in their operations.
Aminu Muhammad is a low earner whose earnings rely on the sale of used and new phones in Bata market. On his way to Filin Dantata from Hadejia road, he was attacked by some thugs inside the tricycle he hired for transport. He sustained serious injuries to his face, lower jaw, lower teeth, and upper jaw.

Injured person snapped

Reasons for Phone Snatching:
One of the main reasons for the increase in phone snatching is the high demand for smartphones in the area. Many people own expensive smartphones, and phone snatchers see this as an opportunity to make quick money by selling stolen phones in the black market.
Sarkin Aljanu is one of the heads of the thugs who used to sell the snatched and stolen phones in Bata Phones Market. During an interview with him, he said, “Most of the youth engaging in this black evil act do so because of how the government neglects them. They are a part of society whose affairs and attention are not focused on this type of youth.”
He also added that “The government contributes by not providing jobs and employment opportunities to them. You see, among these youths that you’re seeing, some can crack any phone that’s brought here without using a third machine for the operation.”
Prices at which the phones are sold:
Dujal is one of the thug heads who coordinates phone snatching in areas of Hotoro, Hadejia Road, and some parts of Sabon-Gari area in Kano Metropolitan. He said that any phone that’s stolen or snatched from the user is sold based on the merit of the phone. For example, if the phone belongs to a well-known and popular company in the market, it is sold as “Maiyi Ce” at 10% of its market price. For instance, a N100,000 phone that’s snatched is sold for N10,000.
Places where the phones are sold:
The thugs and the phone thieves sell the phones in Bata, Farm Center, Beirut, and Jawalla phone markets in Kano Metropolitan. Lubai, who is a retired thug and a business person dealing with phones and accessories, later joined the vigilante group of Darmanawa. He mentioned that any phone buyer who knows it is a snatched or stolen one can buy it for 5% of its market cost in most of the Bata and Farm Center markets.
Similarly, the snatched or stolen phones are sold to community members of the thugs or exchanged for drugs for abuse.
Areas with a high rate of this crime:
Residents and security have identified several areas where this crime is occurring or has occurred at a high rate. These areas include BUK Road from Dan-Agundi to Kofar-Fanfo, Kabuga – Rijiyar Zaki to BUK New Site.
Kofar Na’isa, Hauren Legal and Sharada phase III close to Zone I police headquarters are the areas that this crime is recorded
Other areas identified are Dangi junction to the Zoological garden area (Zoo Road), Hotoro Tsamiyar Boka to the Police station, and some areas around Nasarawa quarters, Sabon Gari, and Airport Road.
How they carry out their operations:
Sani Musa Aliyu, a journalist and development worker who was a victim of this crime, told Salim Sani Shehu, a CITAD Radio Reporter, that, “I was on my way home after work when two people inside a commercial tricycle attacked me. They used very sharp and dangerous weapons to injure my hand and fingers.”

Musa Sani Aliyu VIctim of Phone Snatching in Kano

This is one of the popular approaches used in snatching phones from users. Another recognized method is approaching the user in a close area, attacking them, and taking their phone and other valuable items.
The police have identified some common tactics used by phone snatchers, including approaching victims on motorcycles or bicycles and snatching their phones while they are distracted. In some cases, phone snatchers have used knives or other weapons to intimidate their victims.
Perpetrators also pose as passengers inside tricycles. They stop to pick up a passenger, but after a few minutes of driving, they inform the passenger that they are not going in the direction they intended to go, indicating that the phone has already been stealthily taken from the victim.
Other means include spraying chemicals to make the victim sleepy or uncomfortable to facilitate the theft.
The Kano State Police Command has reported a rise in the number of phone snatching incidents in the area. According to the police, many of these incidents occur in crowded places such as markets, bus stops, and streets.
To address this issue, the Kano State Police Command has launched a crackdown on phone snatchers, resulting in several arrests in recent months. The police have also urged the public to report any suspicious activities to help prevent phone snatching.
Additionally, some residents have taken it upon themselves to protect their phones. Some carry fake phones or use old, inexpensive devices in public places to avoid becoming targets for phone snatchers.
Overall, phone snatching remains a significant problem in Kano Metropolitan, and residents are advised to take precautions to avoid becoming victims of this crime.
The police have advised residents to be cautious when using their phones in public places, to avoid using them while walking on the street, and to keep their phones out of sight when not in use. They have also urged residents to report any suspicious activities to the police to help prevent phone snatching.
In addition to police efforts, some community groups and organizations have launched awareness campaigns to educate people about the dangers of phone snatching and how to prevent it. These campaigns include distributing flyers and posters, conducting public forums, and organizing neighborhood watch programs.
To stay safe from phone snatchers, it is important to be aware of your surroundings, avoid using your phone in crowded places, and keep your phone out of sight when not in use. Additionally, consider installing a tracking app on your phone so you can locate it if it is stolen.
Overall, phone snatching is a serious issue in Kano Metropolitan, and it is important for authorities and residents to work together to prevent it.

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