The Imo State Police Command has apprehended a three-man robbery gang that pretended to be police officers in order to rob innocent citizens in the Aladinma area of Owerri, the state capital.
According to Michael Abattam, the State Police spokesperson, the suspects, Goodness Chinaza’m’ aged 23yrs, Emeka Orji’m’ a.k.a “COCO” aged 24yrs, and Julius Chigozie, who ran away formed a syndicate and robbed people in Owerri.
The gang had broken into the home of a deceased police officer and stolen his uniforms.
According to him, on July 20, 2022, around 6 p.m., the police received a distress call from a victim who reported being robbed of his ash-colored Lexus 330 with registration number RLU 08 AH at gunpoint by the trio on July 18.
He stated that 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.”
One locally-made Double Barrel Short Gun, one Jack Knife, and Police Uniforms/bullet proof vests were items recovered from them.
Meanwhile, Mohammed Ahmed Barde, the State Police Commissioner, praised the officers for their quick response and gallantry, and warned hoteliers to be wary of people who use their facilities and cars parked in their premises.
He thanked the people of Imo for their cooperation and support, and urged them to contact the Command’s emergency control numbers, 08034773600 or 08098880197, in times of distress.