By Evelyn Usman & Esther Onyegbula
Detectives attached to Anti- Cultism Unit of the Lagos State Command have smashed an inter-state syndicate which specialised in snatching vehicles in any part of the country and selling same at give-away prices.
Arrested, was a suspected member of the syndicate, Idowu Popoola, who was driving in a KIA Spot Utility vehicle with registration number MUS 910 DA, which the gang snatched from its owner in Akure, in Ondo State.
During preliminary investigation, policemen attached to Ijanikin division discovered that
Popoola drove the car from Akure and was taking it to a ready buyer around Agbara, when a team of policemen intercepted him at Ijanikin.
An elated owner of the recovered vehicle, Mr. Olaniran Olanusi, who was at the command headquarters yesterday, explained that he was accosted by three members of the gang at gun point while returning from a function.
He said: “They apparently trailed me to my house on a motorbike. As I was hooting the horn for the gate man to open the door for me, three gunmen alighted from their motorbike and ordered me to come down and hand the car key to them. They threatened to shoot me if I attempted to play smart. I ran out of the car in fear. By the time I came back, they had gone with my car.
“While brooding over the loss, I received a call on Tuesday from the Lagos State Polie Command that my car had been recovered. I am grateful to the Police.”
This is just as 15 other suspected members of separate robbery gangs that have been terrorising Lagos state were arrested within two weeks.
Among them was a private guard, Yusuf Jubril, who allegedly snatched his boss’s unregistered Lexus 330 SUV and placed for sale at Power Line Avenue, Meran area of the state.
His arrest followed a complaint on the missing vehicle at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, consequent upon which operatives of the squad at Onilekere base, arrested one of the guards on the street where the car was stolen from.
During interrogation, Jubril, confessed to have stolen the car with help of one Ibrahim who is still at large. He led operatives to Ago-Okota area of the state, where the car was displayed for sale.
Confirming The Commissioner of Police, CP Zubairu Muazu, who paraded the suspect at the command headquarters, Ikeja, yesterday said he was arrested at Ijanikin.
Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command, Muazu Zubairu, who paraded the suspects before journalists yesterday, disclosed that different types of arms and ammunitions , cartridges and other weapons were recovered from the arrested suspects.
He informed that the suspects would be charged to court at the end of investigation, even as he warned criminally minded persons to leave the state for good or have same fate befall them.