Cars numbering 26 stolen in Oworonsoki, Bariga and Somolu areas of Lagos state in the last eight months have been recovered in Ondo by operatives of the Zonal Intervention Squad, Zone 2 Police Command, Onikan, Lagos said.
According to the command, a syndicate that usually sneaks into the neighboorhood with master keys to open the cars, and steal in the communities was tracked down to Ondo.
Arrested members of the syndicate are Joshua Adeleke, Moses Ofoke, Oluseye Arokoyo, Ahmed Ali, Folorunsho Ojowuro and Samuel Bolanle.
The police said it recovered 13 Toyota Camry, three Toyota Corolla, one Toyota Sienna, one Nissan Sunny and one Nissan Almera.
Others are three Honda Accord, two Toyota Sienna, one Nissan Pathfinder and one Mazda 626.
The Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of the command, Adamu Ibrahim, said the police got information about the gang on October 6, 2017.
He said, “We learnt the robbers snatched a Toyota Camry big daddy from Lagos around 2.45pm on that day and were heading towards Sango Ota, Ogun state.
“A team of ZIS operatives was detailed to track down the hoodlums and three of them were arrested. They confessed that they specialised in removing vehicles by roadsides and that they operated in the Bariga, Oworonshoki and Somolu areas of Lagos State.”
The suspects, who were paraded at the ZIS office at Obada Oko, Abeokuta, on Wednesday, said difficult situations of life pushed them into crime.
The leader of the gang, Adeleke, said he took 11 cars from the Oworonshoki and Bariga areas between March and October 2017, adding that he sold them for between N100,000 and N300,000.
He said, “I started doing this job after I lost my job as a driver at a company on Victoria Island, Lagos. I was sacked because I stole N200,000. A friend introduced me to this work in March 2017. I have stolen 11 vehicles in Oworonshoki and Bariga.
“A man made a master key for me and my gang members. We bought the key for N2,000. What we do is to go out by 2am. We open cars parked by roadsides and start the vehicles with the master key. We don’t rob at gunpoint.
“We send the cars to Ondo state where we have ready buyers. The first car we took to Ondo state was a Nissan product, which we sold for N100,000. We also sold a Toyota Camry for N200,000.
“We were four members in the gang. My wife does not know this is what I do for a living.”