Operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Imo State have caught a 26-year-old student of Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo, Johnbosco Ashiegbu for allegedly stealing two vehicles belonging to the government in the state and reportedly used the money to have fun with the girlfriend. He was arrested with his gang member identified as 34-year-old Chinonso Ewurum.
The police claimed that the vehicles stolen by Ashiegbu and Ewurum included a N19m Hilux van belonging to the Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State, adding that the suspects sold the vehicle to one Nnamdi Ejinkeonye in Onitsha for N300,000.
The other vehicle, a Toyota Camry, the police said, was stolen by the suspects in the Imo Housing Estate axis of Owerri, where it was parked by its owner. The Toyota Camry, valued at N3.9m, was said to have also been sold to Ejinkeonye for N350,000.
The undergraduate, who hails from the Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo State, told our correspondent that he took to the crime so as to raise money to “sort out my results in school.” He said, “My desire to sort out my results in school led me into crime. After arranging my results in school, I used the remaining money to live a good life and to take care of my girlfriend.”
He explained that while he got N30,000 from the sale of the Hilux owned by the government, he realized N285,000 from the sale of the Toyota Camry.
A police source, who spoke to Southern City News on condition of anonymity, said the suspects were notorious for using fabricated keys to open peoples’ cars, which they usually sold at Onitsha Market. The source said, “A team of federal SARS operatives led by its commander, Godfrey Victor, a Superintendent of Police, rounded up the suspects in their houses in Owerri when information about their criminal operation had been gathered.”
The source said police investigation showed that the suspects sold the government’s Hilux van worth N19m and the Toyota Camry worth N3.9m to Ejinkeonye who was introduced to them by one Nzube.
The police source said, “Chinonso and Nzube are brothers. The gang is a deadly one because they have a waiting buyer, they sell at any amount as long as you are ready to buy in cash.
“We are closing in on Nnamdi and Nzube. We will soon arrest them and bring them to justice. They cannot run too far.” Ewurum, who is an indigene of Okija in Anambra State, said he participated in the stealing of the Toyota Camry and got N25,000 from the proceeds but denied partaking in the stealing of the government Hilux van.
He said that his younger brother was paid N15,000 for bringing Ejinkeonye, who bought the vehicle. The police source said the identity card of the undergraduate and the master key used in stealing vehicles were recovered as exhibits.
Confirming the development, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Chris Ezike, said that the introduction of the whistle-blowing policy of his command and Owerri City Policing initiative were part of the measures to curb crimes in the state.