The Suntreso District Police Command has arrested a 37-year- old man, said to be the kingpin of a car stealing syndicate, operating in the Kumasi metropolis and beyond.
The suspect, Alex Owusu, was arrested in possession of eight stolen vehicles.
Head of the Public Affairs Unit of the Ashanti Police Command, Assistant
Superintendent of Police (ASP) Godwin Ahianyo, who confirmed the arrest to the Ghanaian Times, said the syndicate is said to have adopted a new strategy of stealing cars by luring their victims to washing bays after hiring them for transactions.
He said preliminary investigations indicated that, Owusu usually hired the services of taxi drivers from Obuasi, Bekwai, Tarkwa and Nkwakwa to Kumasi.
ASP Ahianyo said the suspect used to hire the services of his victims under the pretense of buying excavator parts at Suame Magazine or visiting his sick mother in Kumasi, and agreed on juicy payment.
He said, upon arrival in Kumasi, Owusu convinced his victims to wash the car at a washing bay and persuaded them to leave the car with the bay attendant and accompany him to Suame Magazine to buy the supposed excavator parts.
Upon arrival at Suame Magazine, Owusu told his victims he was going to withdraw cash at a bank, and when the victims left the bay, Owusu secretly returned to the washing bay, took car keys from the bay attendant and drove away.
According to ASP Ahianyo, the police received numerous complaints of such incidents for months, and so the Ashanti Regional Police Command, together with the Kasoa District Police Command launched a manhunt for the suspect and his accomplices.
ASP Ahianyo said the police was seeking the accomplices because investigation has proven he was working with a syndicate that had secured fake number plates for stolen vehicles.
He said Owusu was currently in custody assisting police in investigation and would soon be arraigned before court for prosecution.
ASP Ahianyo said the stolen cars including a Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Atos and Daewoo Matis, were all in the custody of the Suntreso District Police Command.
He asked the victims of such cases to report to the Suntreso District Police Command or any other police station to enable investigators collaborate and arrest accomplices.
ASP Ahianyo appealed to the general public, especially drivers to be more vigilant and not fall prey to juicy offers from suspicious people.
FROM KINGSLEY E.HOPE, KUMASI