By Evelyn Usman
Operatives of the Rapid Response Squad, RRS, have smashed a syndicate that specialised in catch-in-the-air operation, using tricycle riders.
Arrested was a suspected member of the syndicate, who attacked a broadcast journalist, weekend, in Ikeja area of Lagos, dispossessing her of cash, phones, jewellery and other valuables.
Narrating her ordeal in the hands of the robbers, the female television presenter (names withheld) said: “I was standing at Coca Cola Bus Stop, Ikeja, at about 10p.m., when their keke came. I boarded it hoping to alight at Ogba.
“They were all men; I didn’t suspect anything because there were other Keke there. As soon as the driver linked Wempco Road, the two passengers at the back and the one sitting in front brought out knives and a cutlass and threatened to kill me if I did not co-operate with them.
“They collected my two phones, handbag, jewellery and some money. Thereafter, they pushed me out of the keke, while on speed.
“While struggling to get up to avoid being run over by oncoming vehicles, one motorcyclist assisted me up.
“The motorcyclist went after them. We caught up with them along Akilo Road, but unfortunately for us, they used their Keke to hit us.
“It was at that point that RRS patrol team saw us and chased the robbers. They abandoned their tricycle and fled in different directions but one of them, (pointing to the suspect) was arrested.”
Recovered from the suspect were a dagger and their operational tricycle.
During interrogation, the 23-year-old suspect, Timileyin Adebayo, gave identities of his fleeing partners in crime as Olabanji, Ahmed and Lekan.
He revealed that the operation that led to his arrest was his fifth, since he joined the gang.
His words: “I joined the gang this month. One of them invited me to join to replace a member that pulled out.
“They have been operating for a long time before I joined them. I was a bus conductor, but for a long time I have not done any work. It was at that point that I was invited to join the gang.
“At the end of each operation, they gave me N8,000. No matter what we made, that is what they gave me; they don’t treat me as one of them at all.
“We operated between Coca Cola and Ogba and Ikeja to Ogba. We used two knives and a short cutlass.”