A vehicle, which was stolen at a park in one of the churches at the Ikeja business district in Lagos State and seven others, have been recovered at an auto shop in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
Two persons, including the owner of the auto shop, have been arrested by operatives of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS), who tracked the stolen vehicle to Abeokuta.
The auto owner confessed to be aware that the vehicles were stolen, but claimed that it was late for him to back out of the illicit business.
The operatives of the RRS, who were working on a reported case of stolen Toyota Corolla, tracked the vehicle, Thursday night, to a compound in Kobape, Abeokuta, belonging to a car dealer.
According to the report, it was gathered that the grey-coloured Toyota Corolla, 2004 model, with registration number, KRD 759, belonging to Mrs Olaitan Lawal, was removed from the car park during a church programme at Ikeja, at about 6.00 p.m. on Thursday, before it was found around 1.00 a.m. on Friday.
According to the owner of the car, “I took my car to the church and I parked it at the space designated for parking. After the church service, I went back to pick my car to go home, but I couldn’t find the car.
She continued that “immediately, I called Lagos emergency line on 112 and I reported to the representative. I also went straight to Area F in Ikeja, to equally lodge the complaint. At the station, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) connected me to the Commander of RRS, Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP Olatunji Disu, as capable hand to handle the case.”
The RRS surveillance team moved to Abeokuta that same night, leading to the arrest of two prime suspects, who have confessed their connection to the recovered Corolla and seven other stolen cars currently at the RRS headquarters.
The suspects, Samuel Adebeshin, the arrested auto dealer, who lived at 13 Kobape Road, Abeokuta and an accomplice, Adeyemi Kamoru, 50, repeatedly maintained that the eight vehicles were all stolen from different locations in Lagos.
In his confessional statement, Adebesin said “I have been in auto business for 30 years. I know all these cars brought to me were all stolen cars, but I thought I was safe enough here in my palatial compound.”
He explained that “about two years ago, I met Kamoru Adeyemi. He was the middleman between me and the car thieves. He was the one who introduced Alhaji Tajudeen and one honourable, both still at large to me as car dealers and crossers from Benin Republic.
“Later on, I discovered they were car snatchers from Lagos. At this point, I could not back out of the deal. Anytime they bring cars to me, it was Adeyemi I gave money to pay to them, because I did not want people to identify me with them,” the suspect added.
The suspect, who is married to two wives with seven children, noted that he had built two houses, two flats and an eight-room bungalow from this shady business.
The imagemaker in charge of the state police command, Dolapo Badmos, confirmed the arrest of the two suspects and added that efforts were on to arrest other members of the gang.