By Robert AKPAN, Senior Investigator, Lagos.
IT was end of the road recently for a dubious Uber driver who allegedly specialized in stealing posh vehicles under his care which were used for the purpose with a view to selling them to unsuspecting buyers. CrimeWorld investigation revealed that the suspect who identified himself as Kehinde Rasheed, from Abeokuta the Ogun State capital would collect the cars from their owners used them for some time without remitting money as agreed, hide them at mechanic workshops and goes to report that the vehicles had been snatched from him. But the lid got blown open after operatives of the Federal Anti-Robbery Squad FSARS Ikeja Lagos under the leadership of CSP Ahmed Sanusi were going round mechanic workshops in the state and stumbled on three of such cars and inquired why they were abandoned. Sources said the mechanics who disclaimed ownership promptly alerted Kehinde, the man that kept the cars in their custody that buyers had come for his cars and he quickly rushed to the workshop only to jump into the waiting dragnet of Police detectives. The Police say, “Upon sighting the vehicles, (points at them) with some of them having a bottle of water placed atop signifying that they were for sale, they pretended as buyers and the seller, Kehinde came and we started negation and until further probe showed that he was not the right owner, instead the owners gave him on agreement to be used as Uber driver and remit money. That is how he was arrested and he confessed to the crime.”
But defending himself, Kehinde claimed that he actually took one of the cars to the mechanics workshop for repairs adding that he did not mean to sell it. He however, admitted that he made mistake for not contacting the owners that their vehicles were faulty adding that he only wanted to sell one of the cars to raise money to buy a brand new one for the man who gave him the first car. He said, “I didn’t steal the three cars, yes they were recovered in my custody but they were given to me to use as Uber driver on agreement. The first one belongs to one Mr. Emeka, he lives on Lagos Island and we had agreement and I used it for three months but when I discovered that it was faulty which Mr. Emeka can attest to, I dumped it in the mechanic workshop. But I did not tell him. The truth is that I did not remit any money within the three months I used it; that was a mistake I made. It was after I dumped the first one that I went to negotiate and got the second one but the truth is that I lied to the owner that it was snatched from me and that I had reported to the Police. I wanted to sell that one so that I can buy a new one for Mr. Emeka and tell him that I used the money I saved to buy it for him. It was after I dropped the second one that I went to negotiate and got the third one too. Not that I stole any of them, you can go and find out; we normally have agreements before they are released to me. This is about one year now that I started as Uber driver; I have never been arrested by the Police for car theft because I am a registered Uber driver.”