Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
A notorious car thief, Gabriel Okani from Umuebule, of Okporo in Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State, is currently being detained at the Imo State police headquarters for allegedly attempting to steal a Toyota Camry car parked inside the premises of the Assumpta Cathedral, the Archdiocese of Owerri Catholic Church during Mass.
According to the media director of the Archdiocese , Reverend Father George Nwachukwu, who narrated the incident to Daily Sun, Okani had disguised himself as a priest while attempting to unlock the vehicle with a master key before the congregation outside the church premises noticed his strange behaviours and apprehended him.
Okani, who said he came with their leader, a female suspect, during interrogation by the church security operatives, confessed to various car thefts in the Cathedral as well other places of worship in the state.
Nwachukwu further said that the female leader and other members of the gang, who were waiting for Okani to come out with the car, fled immediately he was caught .
The arrested car thief further said was later dragged into the church even as service was on to kneel before the congregation to make an open confession.
Meanwhile, Father Nwachukwu has attributed the incident to the hash economic situation in the country.
According to him, “The case of this holy thief becomes a warning to everyone in the country. In situations of extreme hunger and greed food and stomach often become the only values that count.
“Such hunger and greed can lead both the poor and the rich to gluttonous, corrupt and shameful living”
He further stated that, “Faith and life in Christ give us a deep and lasting joy that help us restrain our hunger and greed.
“Share Christ the true Bread of Life and experience a cleaner and holier way of living in the Spirit. Beware of hunger and greed so that you may not become an object of caricature like this thief we are celebrating”
However, when contacted, the state’s Police Public Relation Officer, Andrew Enwerem, who confirmed the incident, also disclosed that the suspect confessed that his team usually lurk around churches to steal or look for a victim to kidnap.
Enwerem said, “Yes, we have one suspect in our custody, upon interrogation he confessed that they wear the priest uniform to deceive people when they want to kidnap or steal cars in churches.”