The Lagos State Police Command has apprehended a 32-year-old convict, Kingsley Chibuzor, for snatching over 20 cars between 2011 and 2013.
Chibuzor was said to have escaped few months into his sentence from the Kirikiri Medium Prison in 2011, where he was serving a term for malicious damage.
After his escape, the suspect was said to have specialised in snatching cars in Lagos, Anambra and Ebonyi states but met his waterloo when he was arrested by the operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Lagos.
He was arrested alongside two members of his gang; Ozoemena Enebeli and Prince Nwafor.
Chibuzor said, “I was arrested and sent to prison for malicious damage. My prison sentence was supposed to be for three years but I spent only some months there. One day, around 4am, I told a prison official to help me get kerosene and he left the door to our prison open.
“I was able to sneak into a particular area of the building and jumped over the fence. The area was dark and nobody saw me. From there, I trekked to Ojo Barracks to visit my mother but when she asked how I left prison, I did not answer her.”
The father of four said he relocated to Imo State for about six months so as to evade prison officials and policemen, who were on his trail.
He however said he returned to Lagos soon after because he could not survive in the village.
He said, “I became a commercial bus driver and every day, I delivered N5,000 to my boss while I made about N1,500. Sometimes, I also operated heavy duty equipment at my free time and I was paid for it.
“The money was not enough to sustain my family. I met Ozo (Enebeli) at a beer parlour in Mile 2 on a particular day. We became close friends because we spoke the same language and we decided to become armed robbers. I ‘organised’ N40,000 and bought two guns from Benin Republic.
“Our first operation was at Surulere in Lagos. A man was about to enter into his compound and we snatched his Toyota Camry 2000 model from him and we sold it for N200, 000.”
Chibuzor Said that he never killed any of his victims but only snatched their cars from them after which he would sell them cheap.
He said he continued to work as a bus driver but only robbed whenever he was broke.
“We snatched a Toyota Highlander jeep as the owner was returning from a beer parlour in Asaba. We sold it at N400,000 even though its value was over N1m. We snatched a Toyota Camry in Onistha, Anambra, and a RAV 4 jeep at the Igando area of Lagos. We sold the RAV 4 for N150,000.
“While transporting the Highlander to one of our associates in Ebonyi, we saw a Toyota FJ Cruiser and we snatched the vehicle from its owner. The vehicle is worth over N3m but we sold it for N500,000,” Chibuzor recalled.
The suspect was however arrested at the Igando area of Lagos while he was attempting to snatch another vehicle and meet with a buyer.
Through his arrest, the police were able to apprehend Enebeli, who was in Ghana.
Enebeli, in his defence, said he had given up robbery and had relocated to Ghana but was lured back to the country for one more robbery operation.
He said, “I am into computer graphics but I lost my job in 2010; that was when I met with Chibuzor. We carried out many robbery operations but we never killed anyone. We never even kidnapped.
“One day in Igando, a man left the key in his ignition and wanted to open the gate to his house when Chibuzor and I quickly jumped in and drove off. It was later that we realised that the man’s girlfriend was even in the vehicle.
“But we did not attack her; we let her go because we are not bad boys. I had even given up robbery and had settled in Ghana where I was living well and was even sending money to my wife and children. I was only tempted to come for one more operation.”
The Police Public Relations Officer of the state command, Ngozi Braide, confirmed the incident to our correspondent on the telephone, adding that the matter would soon be charged to court.