Police Smash Car-Snatching Syndicate In Lagos

Operatives of the Lagos State Police Command have apprehended a seven-man car-snatching syndicate operating between Lagos and Kwara States.

The suspects were paraded on Tuesday at the State Police Command Headquarters, Ikeja, Lagos.

Two out of the paraded gang members consist of dismissed soldiers who were booted out of the military in 2014 and 2017 respectively.

One of the paraded suspects is a mechanic, one a driver while the last one is the receiver of the stolen cars.

Police listed items recovered from the suspects as military uniforms, military identification cards, and two firearms.

One of the suspects, a 36-year-old Amos Daniel who is a father of four was employed as a driver on June 23, 2024 but escaped with his employer’s Lexus car on the same day of resumption.

In his confessional statement, Daniel said, “That was the first time I stole a car and I only stole to do Uber to fend for my four children and my wife. I only wanted to use the car for four days and return it but I didn’t tell my employer. I went to church to give testimony.”

Another suspect, 25-year-old Stephen Kesh-David told newsmen, [b]“I steal cars when someone brings cars to me to fix in Falomo. I have sold two cars. The first one which is Camry 2010 was sold for N3.7 million and the second one which is Corolla was N1.7 million. I started the business two months ago. I told people that I bought the car from the Benin Republic and that it belonged to a friend.”

However, the stolen car receiver who was also paraded, Samuel Durojaiye, said someone introduced Stephen to him that Customs in Kogi State seized his car and he needed Durojaiye to bail the car.

“I went to the Customs Office to bail the car, and he decided to sell for me later. He told me that his friend wanted to sell the second one and I bought it,” Durojaiye said.

One of the dismissed soldiers, Hakeem Suleiman who hails from Kwara State, told newsmen that he was dismissed in 2017 because he was a diserter.

He narrated that he started armed robbery in April 2024 but drive the snatched cars after operation.

Meanwhile, when he was asked about their modus operandi, he said, “We stop drivers and drag them out and drive away cars. I normally operate in Ajah. I served in 145 Formation.”

Similarly, another dismissed soldier who was also paraded, Abdullahi Mohammed from Maiduguri, Borno State confessed, “I was dismissed in 2014 for mutiny. I met Hakeem in Costain, Lagos where I was riding bike. I bought a Corolla for N1.5 million.”

He said the police tracked the stolen Lexus and that led to the recovery of the similarly stolen Toyota Corolla, adding that he used the army uniform to escort vehicles because of the street urchins.

In his confession, 30-year-old Olanrewaju Sikirulai confessed to carrying out operations at night in the Ajah area of Lagos.

He blamed the situation in the country as the reason for joining the gang. “I feel bad that I am in this situation. I won’t do this if I have a second chance.”

Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin disclosed that the seven suspects were arrested through diligent investigations.

“We arrested six of them in Lagos and one other in Ilorin, Kwara State. They specialise in using military uniforms to snatch vehicles from motorists.

“They have stolen 13 cars and we recovered two of them. One of the cars was butchered and sold as spare part,” Hundeyin said.

The Lagos Police spokesman added that the gang has two firearms with which they stop motorists who think they were soldiers.

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