Police Nab 4-Man Car Snatching Gang
The Lagos State Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, have arrested a four-man car snatching gang in Ikotun, a suburb of Lagos State, southwest Nigeria. Also arrested were the receiver and buyer of their stolen cars.
The suspects include Jude Ifeanyi, 25, Ebuka Ede, 22, Nwankwo Solomon, 23, Christian Chidube, 48, Ekene Nwachukwu, 23, and Anthony Okeke, 24.
P.M.NEWS gathered that the suspects were operating in Ejigbo, Ikotun and Igando areas of Lagos State.
A police source said that a man bought a brand new Toyota Camry at a car mart somewhere at Berger on the Mile2-Apapa expressway. And as he was driving the car home, the robbers intercepted him and snatched the car from him.
The source said the suspects, who were arrested on 10 March, specialised in snatching new cars without registration numbers.
The suspects confessed to have snatched six cars which include four Toyota Camry cars, one Honda Accord 1998 model and one Toyota Avalon.
Ede, one of the suspect, said: “Obinna, Ifeanyi’s friend, and I were the ones snatching the cars. We only give the cars to Solomon to sell them for us.”
Ede, however, claimed that he didn’t use real gun but only used an object that looked like a gun for the operation.
He said that sometimes he would cut bathroom slippers into the shape of a gun but sometimes he used gun for operation.
“I didn’t see car snatching as a job because there is no much money in it. I collected N50, 000. But what I earn depends on the operation we do. I don’t have a place of my own. I live with Okeke. It is not all the time I use gun. Sometimes, it is Okeke that uses it,” he said.
One of the suspects, Ifeanyi, said he was not directly involved in the robbery operation.
Ifeanyi said he was a receiver and the gang paid him N10, 000 as commission for each stolen car sold.
“Whenever they bring any stolen car, they will call me and say they have a car for sale. They will only tell me where it was parked and the colour of the car. And I will go straight there and drive the car to the buyer. I get N10, 000 as commission for any car sold,” he confessed.
Another suspect, Nwachukwu, stated that he is a mechanic and did not know it was a robbery operation that the gang invited him to partake in.
“I visited Okeke. I stayed in his house for a week without doing anything. One evening, they (other suspects) came home to tell me that they want to take me to a place in Ijegun to check a car for them if it is good and I followed them to bring the car home. That was my first outing with them and I never knew it will put me in trouble,” he lamented.
Solomon also said he was not involved in any robbery operation, alleging that he was tricked by his boss for the police to arrest him.
“My oga (boss), Chidube on 10 February called me and said that I should see him. He said that there was something he wanted me to do for him. When I arrived, he told SARS operatives I was the one bringing the cars to him. I didn’t know he has been arrested. That is how I was arrested,” he said.
Meanwhile , Chidube, who was arrested for buying stolen cars, had been arrested by SARS twice for the same offence.
He was previously charged him before Ikeja Magistrate’s Court for the offence and later granted bail in the sum of N50, 000 with two sureties.
In his confessional statement, he said: ‘‘This is my third time at SARS, because I was charged to court three months ago but later granted bail. I like Toyota Camry. I buy each car between N200, 000 and N250, 000. I didn’t know that these people were robbers.
“I only know Solomon. He always informed me whenever any car is available for sale and I will order for it. I always paid into Solomon’s account. I have received about six cars from them. I don’t know they are robbers. I only know Solomon from Nnewi South.”
Items recovered from the suspects include two double barrel guns, nine cartridges and one military cap.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Police Command, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Ngozi Braide, said that the suspects will soon be charged to court.