The Imo State Police Command has smashed a three-man robbery gang, who disguised as policemen to rob innocent citizens in Aladinma area of Owerri metropolis in the State capital.
The State Police spokesperson, Michael Abattam, in a statement, said the suspects, Goodness Chinaza ‘m’ aged 23yrs, Emeka Orji ‘m’ a.k.a “COCO” aged 24yr, and Julius Chigozie, who bolted away, formed a syndicate and robbed people in Owerri.
The gang had broken into the house of a deceased policeman and made away with his uniforms.
According to him, the police received a distress call on July 20, 2022, at about 6pm from a victim, who narrated that he was robbed of his ash coloured Lexus 330 with registration number RLU 08 AH at gunpoint by the trio on July 18.
Abattam said the victim said, “they forced him into the booth, took him to a lonely place, robbed him of all his valuables and used his cell phone and transferred the sum of One Hundred Thousand Naira (N100,000.00) out of his bank account to one of their accounts.”
According to him, upon arrest and interrogation, the two arrested gang members “both revealed where they concealed the robbed vehicle at Rapour Hotel, Amakohia Owerri, lmo State,” adding the vehicle has been recovered to the station.
Further, he said, “investigation revealed that the three suspects were residing in a quarter in Aladinma Owerri, where they broke into the apartment of a late Police Officer in the same quarters, stole his uniforms, bullet proof vests and other valuables. They started using same to rob innocent citizens.
“Their modus operandi is that they dress up in the stolen uniform, block the road, checking vehicles as if they are genuine police officers. Once they see a flashy car, they will stop the driver, requesting for the vehicle particulars. In the bid of giving them the particulars, they will drag him out, put him in the booth of the car and zoom off to a safe place where they will rob the innocent victim. Sometimes, they end up kidnapping the victim for a ransom, until luck ran against them and they were arrested.”
Items recovered from them include one locally-made Double Barrel Short Gun, one Jack Knife, and Police Uniforms/bullet proof vests.
Meanwhile, the State Police Commissioner, Mohammed Ahmed Barde, has commended the officers for their quick response and gallantry, and warned Hoteliers to be wary of persons who make use of their facilities and cars parked in their premises.
He expressed appreciation to Imo people for the cooperation and support and urged them to call the Command’s emergency control numbers; 08034773600 or 08098880197 in times of distress.