By Olasunkanmi Akoni
A pick pocket suspect, Femi Solomon, arrested by operatives of Rapid Response Squad, RRS, of Lagos State Police Command, has confessed to having stolen over 1,200 different kinds of phones from Lagos commuters since he joined his gang.
Solomon was arrested last Thursday at Iyana Oworo area of the state, after stealing a Samsung phone from a commuter at the bus stop.
The suspect, an auto technician, confessed that he joined the gang in Obalende, where he seeks prospective customers to buy used clothes, popularly called, “Okrika.”
According to him, “one of my customers, Ismaila, who was about 50 years old, introduced me to pick pocketing. I noticed he was coming to Obalende finely dressed with so much money.
“I told him I was looking for better job opportunity and he assured me that he was going to assist me with one. And when he was going to introduce me to one, he said I should be following him, while I learn from him.
“I was following from behind and monitoring what he was doing. We were moving from one bus stop to the other from morning till evening. He was stealing phones and wallets from passengers inside bus and at bus stops.
“Throughout the six months I followed him, we could pick six to eight phones and wallets from people without them knowing. He kept everything to himself, but at the end of the day, he would give me between N4,000 and N6,000 depending on his whims.
“On August 2016, I started on my own. I wasn’t bold enough to pick pocket during the day. Besides, I was still a green horn, so I decided to go out from evening since nobody pickpockets at night.
“I start operation at 6 p.m and I end at 9:00 p.m. My target is between four to five mobile phones in a day. Once I am able to hit that figure, I stop operation and I retire. I sell phones to a friend based in Lagos Island.
“In my rough estimation, I would have stolen 1,200 phones at Lagos bus stops and inside commercial buses.
“The routes I normally go to are Ajegunle, Iyana Oworo to Ketu, Ketu to Ojota and Oshodi to Mile 2. I operate on Monday, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. I also operate at night parties and where there are overnight events,” he stated.
Recovered from the suspects were four mobile phones.
He has been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, for further investigations.