We hid stolen cars in church – Suspects

Three robbery suspects, who for months, after snatching cars from female drivers, hid them in a catholic church, have been arrested by the Special Anti Robbery Squad, Ikeja, Lagos State.

The suspects

The suspects

Chinedu Ndubisi, 23, Haruna Mohammed, 44 and Slyvanus Happyday, 35, were before their arrest, members of a five-man gang, who terrorised Epe, Ajah, Lekki Peninsula and Victoria Island areas.

The gang leader, Ndubuisi, told PUNCH Metro how they were able to use church premises for their nefarious activities.

He said, “We have an operational car, a Toyota Corolla. Although we all drive, Haruna drives us during operations because he is very good.

“Whenever we see a choice automobile being driven by a woman, I instruct Haruna quickly hit her from behind. Often any female driver will leave her car key at the ignition whenever you hit her car. That is what we take advantage of.

“The moment the woman steps out to check the extent of damage to her car, John and Festus, who are still at large, would quickly get into the woman’s car and drive off.”

Ndubuisi told PUNCH Metro that they had no need to operate with guns.

He said, “Once a woman’s car is hit, she will walk towards the car of the person who hit her. Immediately John and Festus will drive off the victim’s car, we follow suit. Everything is done quickly so that the victim is taken by surprise.

“We drive to a Catholic church at Sangotedo where we park the stolen car without the knowledge of the parish priest. I am a Catholic and I know the church members are allowed to park their cars there for at least three days. That is enough time for us to get a buyer and dispose of the car without attracting attention.”

A contract technician, Happyday, told PUNCH Metro that he was a buyer of the stolen vehicles. He said, “I know the cars given to me for sale are stolen but I didn’t mind. I am a technician by profession and often get contracts with oil companies. My last contract ended last year. Since then, I have been idle. That is how I got myself into trouble.”

Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos Command, Ngozi Briade, a DSP, confirmed the incident.

She said, “The suspects were arrested when they tried to sell a Toyota Corolla LE with number plate AG 816 SGD stolen from a woman at Chevron New Road, Ajah.

“Ndubuisi had given the car to a soldier to sell at Abuja. The car was traced to the soldier who after his arrest led the SARS team to Ndubuisi. Ndubisi was tricked into believing that the car had been sold and that the money was at a bank in Mayfair, Ajah. He was tracked down to the bank through his victim’s blackberry which was still in his possession.

“Women drivers should be security-conscious; they should make good use of their side mirrors to know whether the driver that hit them from behind is alone or with other men in his car. This will enable her to know whether to stop or keep moving. Distress numbers have been provided by the Commissioner of Police, the public should make use of them.”

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