Eight people said to be members of a robbery gang that specialises in snatching cars at gun point, were, yesterday, gunned-down during an exchange of gunfire between them and operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, Ikeja.
Vanguard gathered that the bandits, who operated in two groups, met their waterloo while trying to smuggle a Toyota Siena Space Bus and a Toyota Camry car which they snatched at Ejigbo and Ikotun areas of Lagos State into the Republic of Benin.
Sources told Vanguard that the gold colour Toyota Siena with number plate LAGOS JJJ 623 AW, was snatched from its owner, one Habeeb, at Ejigbo while the wine colour Toyota Camry with number plate LAGOS EPE 737 AT, was snatched from a yet-to-be identified owner at Ikotun, on September 9, 2012.
A source who pleaded anonymity, said policemen across the state were alerted after the cars were stolen, while men of the Rapid Response Squad, RRS, and other police patrol teams chased the bandits without success as they drove the vehicles to Ogun State.
Meanwhile SARS operatives, led by the officer in charge SP Abba Kyari, received an intelligence report that the armed bandits had concluded plans to smuggle the cars to a waiting buyer at Benin Republic at the dead of the night. They reacted and swiftly accosted the bandits at Ifo and Sango Ota areas of Ogun State respectively.
According to the source, the operatives opened fire on the bandits in a bid to stop them from fleeing and the bandits armed with locally made pistols shot at the police. The retaliation led to an fierce exchange of gunfire between the police and the bandits, which saw the death of eight members of the two gangs.
“Six locally made pistols, 48 live and 11 expended Cartridges and the two stolen cars were recovered from the bandits” the source added.