By Evelyn Usman
A 28-year-old technician, Michael Eze, who stole one of his customer’s cars meant for repairs at Ladipo Market in Mushin area of Lagos, has said his choice of the car to steal was informed by the fact that the owner had told him insurance company will replace the car if anything happened to it.
Eze also added that he needed money to take care of his ailing mother.
The vehicle, as gathered, was given to the suspect to effect repairs on its air conditioning system on December 20, 2017. But when he was contacted on phone to know when the car would be ready, Eze said the car had been stolen.
However, his disappearance from his workshop aroused the suspicion of the car owner, who alerted policemen at Ilupeju Division.
Speaking with journalists yesterday, at the headquarters of the Lagos State Police Command, where he was paraded alongside 17 other suspects that have been terrorising the state, the 28-year-old suspect blamed his indulgence on his inability to raise money for his ailing mother’s treatment.
His words: “I have known the owner of the car since 2015. I am not a thief; this is my first time of stealing a customer’s car. I did it because I don’t have money to take my mother to the hospital.
“One of my friends, Promise Israel, told me he knew someone that buys stolen cars in Edo State.
“I decided to steal this particular car because the owner once said that his car was insured and that in the event of any theft or accident, his insurance company would replace it.
“We contacted a man that would drive the car to Benin. But on reaching there, the buyer said that he would have to sell the car first before paying us.
“When the owner of the vehicle called, I told him that it had been stolen.
“I avoided my workplace because I wanted to collect my share of the money from the sale of the car and travel home to attend to my ailing mother.
“I was still expecting to get the money when I got a telephone call from my in-law, who stood as guarantor for me. He told me to come and see him, unknown to me that he was with the Police.
“Initially, I maintained that the car was stolen. But when I got to Special Anti -Robbery Squad, SARS, I opened up.”
The suspect, according to Lagos State Police Commissioner, Imohimi Edgal, would be charged to court while efforts were still on to arrest other fleeing accomplices.