By Esther Onyegbula
The Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, FEDSARS, Adeniji-Adele, Lagos, recently paraded some suspects allegedly involved in different crimes ranging from robbery, diversion of goods and receiving stolen goods operating within Lagos, Oyo, Ondo and Ogun States. Among the suspects was a 39-year-old technician and driver, Adeleke Ayodele.
Adeleke’s exploits in the criminal world was blown open on February 24, 2014, after the dragnet of operatives of the FEDSARS caught up with him for stealing a Honda Sports Utility, SUV, belonging to his employer. The father of two told Crime Guard during an interview that his plight began immediately he took up appointment as a driver to Mr. Iseoluwa Elkanah. According to him, “I work under Mr. Elkanah as a driver. On my first day at work, I drove my boss and his friends to Okitipupa in Ondo State for a burial ceremony. While we were there, I stole the car and came back to Lagos instead of waiting for them.
How he went into hiding
“When I came back to Lagos, I started using the car as my personal vehicle. I was driving it around town and going around my normal business. And I used the car for two months, from December till February when they eventually arrested me. While this was happening, I was hiding because the owner of the car knows the house where I live.
Although, I am aware that one day they will catch me, but I kept hiding from them. Each time they came to the house, I would hide if I am inside. And if I am not, they will meet my wife and give her the message they have for me. They were unable to arrest me all this time because my wife was always feeding me with information each time they were around. Most times, I will leave the house very early in the morning and returned back late in the night to evade arrest. I was also using the vehicle for transportation and to do ‘big boy’.
“When I stole the car, it had no plate number. I later saw the number under the vehicle, so I attached it on the car, without registering the vehicle. I also bought a Navy tag, which I placed in front of the vehicle so that police and road safety officials will not stop me on the way. At a point after they were unable to apprehend me, My boss called me on phone and asked me what I wanted to do with the car. He asked me if I wanted to buy the car since I don’t want to return the vehicle. I told him yes but he didn’t give me chance to pay because that was the week they arrested me.”
“Although I feel bad now, I don’t know what led me into stealing the vehicle. All my life I have never been in police custody before, so I can’t say this is the particular thing that actually led me to commit the crime. It was after I committed the crime that the consequences of what I had done dawned on me. All I know is that I stole the vehicle because I wanted to be using it and I feel bad now that I have been arrested.
Acquisition of Navy tag
“I bought the tag from Navy barracks along Ijora area where they sell things. I placed the Navy tag at the front of the car’s windscreen to prevent law enforcement agents like LASTMA, VIO, and police from stopping me on the way while driving. I entered into the barracks where they are selling things; I bought it N500.”
How he was apprehended
On that day, I had gone around my normal business. I was on my way to Obalende, from Mile 12 when I was arrested by detectives along third mainland bridge. On that day, I was carrying 300 tubers of yams owned by a customer who had paid me N3000.00.
I usually do this whenever I don’t have money to buy fuel for the car. I would carry load for people and also carry passengers going towards my direction. The only advice I have for people stealing cars is to repent and change their ways.” he said.