By Gom Mirian Abuja
The Nigeria Police Special Tactical Squad (STS) has smashed a two-man car stealing gang led by one Bashir Isiaku, aged 34, notorious for stealing cars from the car park of the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) in Plateau state.
A statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters, Abuja, DCP Frank Mba, said the arrest of Bashir, a graduate of one of the Federal Polytechnics, came after painstaking efforts and investigations by operatives of the STS to hunt down the criminals.
He said, Bashir and his accomplice, Aminu Yakubu specialized in using customized master key, crafted out of screwdriver to open and start vehicles. Saying the Police investigations show that their choices of cars are ones without special security features such as pedal or steering locks.
According to him, twenty – one (21) vehicles have so far been recovered from the hoodlums and their criminal receivers which invlude: Rilwanu Garba, Ibrahim Hassan, Kabiru Aliyu, Sikiru Danjuma, Bashir Abba, Dodo Danbello, Mudeen Adelera, Nasiru Bello, Hassan Bawa, Magazine Garba, Yushehu Abdullahi, Abdurazaq Adekoya and Kabiru Aliyu have also been arrested in Funtua, Sokoto, Kucheri, Tsafe, Gusau and Marafa.
Adding that the recovered vehicles comprise 2 Opel Vectra, 1 Toyota Camry, 1 Honda CRV, 2 Toyota Carinae, 7 Golf-3, 1 Toyota Corolla, 6 Honda Civic and 1 Toyota Avensis.
The suspects claimed that they found it easy to steal in JUTH due to the lax security at JUTH premises and prefered Toyota, Honda and Volkswagen especially the Golf brands of the high demand by receivers, either in whole or in parts across the country and other neighboring countries.
The Police spokesman, while calling on members of the public whose cars were stolen between January 2019 and March 2020, within the premises of Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) to come forward for possible identification and recovery, urged Nigerians to take extra measures to securetheir vehicles.
Mba also encourages institutions and organizations to enhance security and access control within their premises to minimize the possibility of theft and other mischief by criminals.
Meanwhile, a 28 year old female armourer, Fatima Garba has been arrested alongside her gang of kidnappers and armed robbers, notorious for attacking innocent Nigerians around Sokoto, Kebbi, Kaduna and Niger States.
Mba said Fatima was responsible for ensuring the safety of the weapons used by the gang whenever not in use.
He said she confessed of being the gang’s armourer for over a year and also claimed to receive a handsome reward each time the weapons were returned to her after each operation.
She acknowledged knowing that the arms which she usually kept in a neatly dug hole in her compound were used for robberies, kidnapping and other criminal purposes, Mba said.
Investigations showed that Fatima, who is a trader and single mother of two was recruited by her boyfriend Abubakar Usman.
Other members of the gang include Samaila Usman ‘m’ aged 28, Mohammed Ibrahim ‘m’ aged 30, Mohammed Agali ‘m’ aged 22, Dahiru Bello ‘m’ aged 33, Shamsu Mohammed ‘m’ aged 30, Mohammed Usman ‘m’ aged 37, Umar Abdullahi ‘m’ 33, Buhari Abubakar ‘m’ aged 33 and Abubakar Garba ‘m’ aged 37.
According to him, items recovered from the gang include: 5 AK47 rifles, 1 G3 rifle, 1 Berretta pistol, 1476 rounds of ammunition, 36 rounds of G3 ammunition, 6 AK47 magazines, 1 operational vehicle, 8 mobile phones and box containing operational tools.
Mba said the gang is estimated to have made over N12 million from their various criminal escapades.
He said all the suspects will be charged to court at the conclusion of investigations.