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I make N18,000 daily from selling stolen phones, says Lagos pick-pocket

By Evelyn Usman & Olasunkanmi Akoni

A suspect arrested by operatives of the Lagos State Rapid Response Squad, RRS, has revealed how he makes at least N18,000 daily from selling stolen phones.

Lawal Daodu

Lawal DaoduThe suspect, Lawal Daodu, 31, was arrested in Computer Village, Ikeja, on Friday at 5 p.m. when he tried to steal a phone from a passer-by under the bridge in Ikeja.

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The suspect, who had before his arrest stealthily picked two android phones from passers-by, was removing another android phone from the pocket of another would-be victim when the phone incidentally fell from his hand, which attracted the attention of its owner.

The suspect was promptly arrested by the RRS officers attached to an Armoured Personnel Carrier, APC, stationed at Ikeja, under the bridge, and while he was explaining the source of the phones in his possession, one of his victims, who was trying to catch a glimpse of what was happening saw his phone among those stolen by Lawal.

Lawal, in his confession to the Police, explained that he does his ‘business’ around Computer Village, Ikeja, and Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos.

According to him, “on Friday, I was at the Computer Village as usual. I had stolen two phones in the morning, which I sold to my customers at Computer Village.

“In the afternoon, I resumed. I was picking the third one when the owner raised the alarm, which attracted the attention of the RRS men. They arrested me and unfortunately, just as I was trying to prove my innocence, one of my victims identified his phone in my hand.

“I don’t operate every time. I go out maybe twice in a week and I make at least N18,000 from picking pockets. There were times I made more than that, especially when I picked expensive phones.

“I sell the phones to Afeez and Lanre. They are street guys in Computer Village. I was trained by Bello, although I have not seen him in a long while now.”

Innocent man killed in jungle justice

Meanwhile, life has been snuffed out of a 22-year-old man, who was wrongly accused of stealing a phone inside a bar in Badore area of Ajah.

The deceased, Olamide Omolegbe, who resided at the Government Reserved Area, Abidjan, had visited the bar to buy some drinks last Monday, during which the owner of the bar, Bolanle Mohammed, raised the alarm that her phone was missing.

She allegedly accused Omolegbe of stealing the phone, following which he was descended on, amidst appeal and explanation from him that he was not the culprit.

He died. Thereafter, his assailants allegedly dumped his corpse in a lagoon.

A few days later, his bloated body was recovered at the Obadore Jetty by policemen at Lagbansa Division.

A spokesman for Lagos State Police Command, DSP Elkana Bala, who confirmed the incident, disclosed, yesterday, that five persons have been arrested in connection with the murder.

He revealed that during the investigation, the phone was discovered to have been taken by the son of the shop owner.

According to Bala, “his body was recovered by a team of detectives led by the Divisional Police Officer, SP Ada Okafor, on July 10 at Badore Jetty and deposited at Mainland Hospital Mortuary for autopsy.

“Five suspects including the woman, who raised the false alarm, were arrested. The suspects are Wasiu Wahab, Ramon Ibrahim, Junior Adebayo, and Yusuf Adegbite.

“Wasiu Wahab, who is the principal murder suspect and Yusuf Adegbite, were arrested inside the lagoon, where they hid themselves to evade arrest.

“Investigation revealed that the phone was actually stolen by the son of the woman, who wrongly accused the deceased person. The son confessed to the commission of the crime.

“The Commissioner of Police Lagos State, Zubairu Muazu, has ordered the Homicide Section of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, SCIID, Yaba, to take over the investigation and ensure diligent prosecution of the suspects.”

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