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Yuletide: Four common crimes during end of year

December comes with a lot of activities as it is a season of festivities due to the Christmas celebration. The season, which also ushers into…

December comes with a lot of activities as it is a season of festivities due to the Christmas celebration.

The season, which also ushers into a New Year, is characterized by shopping, outings, travelling, and lots of merriment.

However, while one may be carried away with these activities, it is pertinent to note that the season also comes with its own downsides which include a rise in theft, fraud, accidents, and other crimes.

Daily Trust highlights some of the crimes activities ramapant during yuletide in Nigeria.


Kidnapping is seen as a lucrative ‘business’ and the shortest means to wealth by those involved in this crime. The current wave of abductions across the country makes every person a potential target regardless of their social class or economic status.

No place is out of reach for kidnapping gangs, but they are especially prevalent in northern Nigeria. Airports, railways, military barracks and religious places have all been targeted over the years.

About N653.7 million was paid as ransom in Nigeria between July 2021 and June 2022, for the release of kidnap victims, a new report by a Lagos-based security and political risk research firm, BM Intelligence, has shown.

The report said at least 500 incidents of kidnapping were recorded and 3,420 people were abducted across Nigeria, with 564 others killed in violence associated with abductions in the one-year period.

As festive season approaches when there will be a lot of movements of people across the country, there are high chances that kidnap activities with also rise.

Armed robbery

Though there are reports that the menace of armed robbery in Nigeria in major roads has declined over the years due to the fact that online banking has made carrying cash unnecessary, there are also other forms that are on the rise, such as robbery of phones and other devices.

Also, people tend to carry more cash than usual around this season. Cars and homes are loaded with gifts for loved ones. A lot of people are usually out buying gifts for friends and families. Robbers are aware of this fact, and they take advantage of the situation to lie in ambush for unsuspecting victims.


Burglary or housebreaking is the act of entering a building or other areas without permission, with the intention of committing a criminal offence. Usually that offence is theft.

Burglary is  also another crime that characterizes the festive period. Because a lot of people travel away from their homes, some thieves use the opportunity to break into their houses and steal their valuables.


Pickpocketing is a form of crime that involves the stealing of money or other valuables from a victim’s pocket without them noticing the theft at the time.

Pickpockets and other thieves, especially those working in groups, sometimes apply distraction, such as asking a question or bumping into the victims. These distractions sometimes require sleight of hand, speed, misdirection and other types of skills

Pickpockets are usually found in crowded places, such as high traffic areas, mass transit stations, places of worship, open markets and public transits.

Due to the prevalence of buying and selling as well as travelling during the yuletide, there are usually massive crowds at the markets and motor parks, where pickpockets use the opportunity to steal phones, cash and other items.