Bola Salami, 29, Opeyemi Aregbesola, 25, and Ogunleye Lati were paraded for car theft on Friday.
The duo of Salami and Aregbesola were out of luck when they were arrested on December 2, 2015 for stealing a red 2010 Toyota Camry.
Speaking to Saturday Punch , Aregbesola, who hails from Osun State, said he was into phone theft before he decided to get involved in car snatching so he could raise more money. He began, “Somebody told me he was in need of a vehicle, so my friend and I decided to snatch one for him.
I wanted to make more money, that was why I agreed to supply the vehicle.“On the particular day, my friend and I were passing through the Ofada Street, Olorunsogo, in Mushin (Lagos State) when we saw the opportunity and we jumped at it. What we had in mind was to go and snatch phones, which was what we had been doing before. But when we got to that street and saw the Camry, we just remembered that somebody had told us he needed such car. That was when we decided to snatch the car.”
Talking about how they snatched the car from the victim, whose name was not disclosed, Aregbesola said they didn’t operate with any weapon. He continued,
“We slapped the man on his chest suddenly and he ran away. He parked his car in front of the house and left the key on the ignition. He had gone to the boot of his car to collect something and closed the gate. As he was going back to enter the car, we slapped him and he ran away. We drove the car away before the police recovered it through tracking.
“Our main focus was to snatch phones and we have stolen a number of that but the opportunity came to make more money and we took it. I met Salami recently and we used to snatch phones together before this offer came. We had planned to sell the car for N400,000.”
Giving his own account of how they snatched the car, Salami, who said he was released from police detention earlier this year having been wrongly detained for about four years, said they drove the car from Mushin to Abule Egba before the police tracked and recovered it from them.
He said, “I was first arrested in Ibadan in 2011 during a riot by NURTW members. I was in detention for four years. I was an innocent danfo driver. I have four siblings. It was the devil that pushed me into this crime and I regret it.
“When I came out of prison, I was jobless before I met Aregbesola. I had planned to invest the proceeds from the car robbery. I felt it would be a break for me and I had planned not to go back to it again if I could make some money from the Camry deal.”
Meanwhile, another Ogunleye Lati was arrested for being a receiver of stolen vehicles. It was gathered that Lati had agreed to buy the car from them.
Speaking to Saturday Punch, Lati claimed it was the second time he was getting involved in the crime.
“I didn’t plan to buy the car. This is actually my second time of getting involved in this business. The first time, the police also recovered the car, so I decided to see if I could be successful this time. My plan was to sell the car as soon as the boys sold it to me.
“I was a computer engineer at Ikeja but when officials of Kick Against Indiscipline chased us out of Ikeja, things became difficult for me. They smashed our show glass, everything I had was gone, things weren’t working for me again, so I had to get involved in this crime,” he said.