A retired Customs Officer (names withheld) on Thursday battled to explain to the police how a car was found in his custody shortly after it was stolen from Maryland area in Lagos.
The officer, currently being detained by the Police, was alleged to have handed over the car to a mechanic in a hidden workshop in Okokomaiko, Lagos to quickly dismantle anything that could lead to the tracking of the vehicle.
As soon as the owner of the Toyota Camry discovered that the vehicle was missing, he contacted his tracking company which traced the vehicle to Okokomaiko. The vehicle was found behind a church where it was allegedly being dismantled by mechanics who were said to have implicated the Customs officer.
The suspect was said to have told the police that a friend gave him the vehicle in the early hours of penultimate Saturday and asked him to get a rewire mechanic to work on the car, saying it was faulty.
In the course of investigation, it was discovered that the so-called friend was arrested by operatives of the Federal Anti-Robbery Squad a day after the incident while trying to steal another car.
Narrating his ordeal, his victim, simply identified as Chekwube, said he woke up at about 8am on Saturday and discovered that his car was no longer where it was parked. Alarmed, he called on the gateman close to his house and asked them if they saw anyone move the vehicle out of its initial position.
“They said ‘no’ and I started panicking. Luckily, the car had a tracking device so I immediately contacted the company which started tracking the vehicle. They told me that the car was already at Okokomaiko area of Lagos State.
“I quickly reported the matter at the Anthony Police Station and briefed them on the progress we have made in tracking the car. The Divisional Crime Officer assigned two officers to follow me to Okokomaiko for further investigation. At Okokomaiko, we went to the nearest police station, which is at PPL police post on Jadun Street. The DPO also gave us a policeman to escort us to the scene.
“On getting to the compound, we discovered that it is a church with an inscription boldly written in front of the building, ‘Jesus is Lord’. We entered the compound and discovered that it is a workshop. I was able to spot out my car which was at the verge of being dismantled. If we had gotten to that place at about an hour later, I wouldn’t have discovered the car as they had removed the tyre, plate number, the ignition point and were about repainting it.
“The policemen quickly arrested about nine mechanics and took them to the station. It was then that the head mechanic said it was a customs officer that brought the car to them and ordered them to quickly change everything.”
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