By Olsunkanmi Akoni
Operatives of the Rapid Response Squad, RRS, of Lagos State Police Command, weekend, arrested one Afolabi, 31, an ex-convict, who claimed to have vandalised no fewer than 57 cars in the state.
The suspect, an indigene of Oye-Ekiti, was arrested by the operatives at 4a.m., Friday, in CMS, after escaping from Broad Street, Lagos Island, where he had allegedly gone to vandalise a Toyota Corrolla belonging to a Deacon of First Baptist Church, Broad Street, Lagos.
Found in his possession at the time of arrest were two Toyota Corrolla brain-boxes and four winding buttons.
The suspect allegedly confessed to have removed them from the Deacon’s vehicle and another Corrolla in the neighbourhood.
According to him, “I was introduced into the business of stealing vehicle parts by Yinka, a friend living in Cole Street, Oyingbo, Lagos, in 2014. Together, we stole brain-boxes of many cars— Toyota and Lexus.
“Our areas of operations were Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Ajah and Lagos Island. We operate thrice weekly. Having learned the act, I started operating alone. I specialised in brain-boxes of Corrolla and Hilux only; maybe Toyota buses occasionally.
“The focus on Toyota is because there is a ready buyer. Spare parts sellers are ever ready to buy from you. I sell Corolla brain-boxes for N40,000 and Hilux, around N70,000. I go for operations on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays.
“I operate in Ikoyi, Lagos Island and Victoria Island. Because I wanted to operate on the Island that night, I told my wife that I was going to work. She knows I am into oil bunkering around Takwa Bay. About a year ago, the Police forced me to abandon oil bunkering for car parts theft.
“I surveyed the Broad Street around 9p.m. on Thursday to see any vehicle I can remove its brain-box and winding buttons. I had learned to be very cautious now, because I have been imprisoned thrice for sundry offences bothering on stealing.
“I was on the Island till 3a.m., when I sneaked into Broad Street for operation on Friday. Before getting there, I had removed the brain-box of a Toyota Corrolla in the adjoining street.
“I had removed the brain-box and all the winding buttons in the car when a guard spotted me. He raised the alarm which drew the attention of Rapid Response Squad, RRS, officers around. I was chased and arrested.
“I sell the items to a dealer in Coconut Area of Ajegunle. I take the parts to him in Layode Street, Ajegunle, or meet him in his shop.”