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Police nab 26 suspected car snatchers in Rivers



Nigeria Police 3

The Rivers State Police Command has reported the arrest of 26 suspected car hijackers, including five ex-convicts, after dismantling a network that stole cars and sold them to eager purchasers outside the state.

According to the police, the arrest followed many instances of stolen cars, some of which were grabbed from victims at gunpoint in and around Port Harcourt.

Olatunji Disu, the state commissioner of police, revealed this while presenting the suspects and recovered automobiles to reporters shortly after a media conference at the command headquarters in Port Harcourt.

Disu expressed pleasure with the arrests, emphasizing that the arrest of Chidozie Anthony Onyekwe and Kelechi Uzogwe, who was identified as syndicate leaders, was the consequence of the command’s prompt deployment of its tactical unit and investigators.

He stated, “Today, I’m very happy to inform you that about 26 suspects who specialize in stealing vehicles, robbing motorists, and snatching their cars have been arrested.

“Our greatest joy is the arrest of Chidozie Anthony Onyekwe and Kelechi Uzogwe. Chidozie is the leader of those who come into Rivers State to steal cars. Not only did he come in here, but he also trained his men well before bringing them to come and perpetrate their crimes here. He is linked to all the other suspects arrested at one time or another over this same crime of stealing cars.

“At the same time, Kelechi Uzogwe is an expert in removing trackers from vehicles. Almost all the vehicles stolen from Rivers State must pass through Kelechi for him to remove the trackers for them. He is also a mechanic and rewires at the same time.

“Most of these cars stolen are taken to Anambra, Kano, and some find their way outside the country. The cars were taken to Mgbuka-Obosi, Onitsha in Obosi in Anambra State, where they were cut to pieces and sold as scraps.”

The police boss further disclosed, “In total, 79 stolen vehicles have been linked to these arrested suspects. The funny thing is that most of these suspects met while they were in the correctional center. About five of them are ex-convicts.”

Detailing the modus operandi of the suspects, the police boss mentioned that they possess master keys that have been recovered from them.

He added, “How do they drive these cars out of town? They quickly convert them to commercial vehicles, go to motor parks, pick up passengers, and drive out of town with passengers. Almost all the cars recovered have had their trackers removed by Kelechi.

“We have for you two sets of people who wait for them to receive the cars, buy the vehicles immediately, and take them away.

“Some of the receivers even come into town with them; tell them the kind of cars they want them to steal. They steal and hand them to the receivers, who pay them off to seal the business.”