The rate of inside-vehicle-thieves, popularly known as “One-Chance”, has drastically increased in Owerri.
And it became so after the executive governor of Imo state; Rochas Okorocha, banned Tricycle commuters (Keke Napep) and introduced an array of in-town taxi and cabs; The Yellow and Black: Taximo and the Imo Black Cab.
The sudden and abrupt stop of the Keke Napep led to high demand of taxi services in Owerri as the number of people on the streets of Owerri greatly surpassed the number of approved taxis, this led to
a new business opportunities for lots of car owners; who instantly dived into the business…commuting people without any form of authorization or licencing, Thus leading to the advent of the new crime; ONE CHANCE, which is now the menace of every evening in Owerri.
How they operate:
They operate in similar fashion to their colleagues in other parts of the nation, by leaving a sitting spot either in front of the car or behind (or both)…Once you enter the car, they employ several tricks which includes;
1) THE DOOR TECHNIQUE:
In this technique, you are allowed to sit next to the door (a malfunctioning door), the car moves immediately before you close the door, then as you try to close the door, the person next to you presses himself heavily against you, making it nearly impossible for you to properly jam the door shut, as you try and try, the person puts his hand out of the door and clamps his fingers on the roof of the car and immediately relieves the pressure he had put on you…and immediately you will succeed in jamming the door, then thats when the entire act explodes.
The guy will instantly start screaming that you have jammed the door against his hand and frantically compels you to open the door…screaming and crying into your ears, everyone in the car will join in on the commotion, thus rendering you unconscious whats happening in the car as all your focus will be on how to save the screaming guys fingers. THEY WILL ROB YOU OF ALL YOUR POSSESSIONS …in that little seconds of heavy commotion. Then When you finally open the door, the driver will stop the car as the supposedly hurt guy will keep screaming…asking you to help pull his fingers as he cries. Then the driver will ask you to move to a sitting spot either in front or at back, depending on where you were seated. And once you step out to comply, they will immediately zoom off, leaving you outside and making away with whatever they must have stolen from you.
2) THE GET INSIDE TECHNIQUE:
In this technique, the only available sitting spot will be at the back and when you stop the taxi, the person near the door will come down for you to go inside, once you go inside, the person that stepped out will sit back and slam the door shut.
The driver will then enter every single pothole in the road with speed, juggling you and everyone in the car…forming that he is late for something and needs to be fast…the other passengers will start abusing him, hurling all forms of obscenities at him and he keeps doing what he is doing…with all the bumping, juggling and commotion, THEY WILL SMOOTHLY ROB YOU…and as if with signal, the driver will screech to a halting brake, turn around and face you, asking you why you are insulting him, he will sound so angry and pissed, the other passengers will immediately start shouting him saying that they also insulted him, trying to stand with you but the driver will be so hellbent on you and will ask you to leave his car, instantly the person next to the door will shout to the driver and say “if you go push am out like that then all of us go comot and we no go pay you”…he will instantly open the door and step out…cajoling everyone to join him, immediately the person in front will follow the move and step out and then you will want to step out too and if you haven’t the people outside will talk you into coming out as everyone else by now would have been out of the car, the driver will start begging and they will immediately rush in, leaving you to enter last, as you make to enter, the car zooms off.,,THERE YOU ARE AGAIN, ROBBED ONCE MORE!
There are other methods in which they even employ the use of guns, charms and daggers but these ones above have been the most used now in Owerri.
So please before you enter that taxi, look well…avoid crowded suspicious vehicles, if possible seek out only the approved vehicles, avoid late night movements as that is their best operating time.
I was a victim few days back.
I had to carefully take out time to study their moves, gather testimonies and alert the general populace on this.
Please the state government should try and regulate the taxis and cabs…don’t leave us to the mercy of this menace.