A 52-year-old car-snatching kingpin, Adedeji Idowu, was arrested in Port Harcourt on February 10, 2016, after a diligent manhunt. Six members of the gang were also arrested in the Rivers State capital. 40 cars were also recovered from the South West arm of his syndicate gang in Oyo which specialized in stealing cars parked in public places, mainly at social events and shopping centres in the urban areas.
The cars were recovered in Benin Republic, Rivers, Lagos and Oyo states.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr Leye Oyebade told Sunday Sun that the car-snatching syndicate operated with ready receivers, who sold off the vehicles, each worth about N2 million for as low as N170,000 in Rivers, Lagos and Ogun states and Cotonou, Benin Republic.
At the headquarters of the Special Armed Robbery Squad of the Oyo State Police Command, the car-snatching kingpin, Adedeji Idowu, who spoke with Sunday Sun reporter, revealed that the core gang had 10 members, adding that they had stolen several cars in Ibadan, which they always drove to Rivers State, to be sold by a receiver.
His words: “We have a syndicate in Port Harcourt; I have received over 10 stolen cars. We have stolen several cars in Ibadan, Oyo State. Before this time I was a professional rewire (auto electrician).”In December 2015 and early 2016, we sold over 10 different cars which worth millions of naira. We sold the cars cheap, between N150,000 and N170,000, like bonanza, to people. We badly needed money to survive.“We were arrested in Ibadan, so we took the police to Port Harcourt to recover some of the cars and also arrest other members of the syndicate.”
The brands and registration details of the recovered cars were given as: Toyota (Lagos AGL 565 DL); Toyota Camry (Lagos FKJ 981 DY); Honda CRV (Lagos KSF 923 CL) Toyota Camry (Bayelsa YEN 518 BJ); Hyundai Elantra (Rivers PHC 578 UN), Lexus SUV (BGM 482 LK); Toyota Camry (Rivers PHC 245 UN), one unregistered Toyota Camry car, Nissan Altima (Lagos KJA 654 AV), Toyota Camry RSH 888 MS.
Two other members of the gang, who are indigenes of Ekiti State, revealed how they used master keys to unlock over six cars parked by their owners in Lagos and Oyo states.