•I have a special key to open any bus -suspect boasts
By Bose Adelaja
For 29-year-old Joseph Femi, removing Vanagon buses from where they are parked, is like child’s play, no matter how tight the security lock is.
This is because he boasted to have a key that could disconnect any security lock in such buses. His work as a commercial bus driver was an added advantage as it makes it easier for him to get ready buyers, within two hours after stealing the buses.
The suspect who was recently paraded by the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command, CP Hakeem Odumosu, told Crime Guard that he operated a lone squad and sold stolen buses between N120,000 and N150,000, to ready buyers.
He disclosed that he started removing buses from where they were parked, in 2018.
Hear him: “I live in Abule-Egba. But I operate around Oyingbo and Agric, Ikorodu. Whenever I wanted to operate, I would get to either of the two places around 10 pm and perambulate for two hours, waiting for residents to retire.
“I would then wait till 2 am, to allow them to sleep deep before going to remove the bus from where it was parked.
“I have an automatic key that opens and starts the bus. Immediately I succeed in removing it, I would drive straight to Agric, in Ikorodu, and park under the pedestrian bridge until 4 am when buyers would come.
“I started doing this since 2018 and it lasted till 2019. So far, I have stolen six buses. Asunmo and Tisirimiyu connected me with buyers”.
He stated that he had to quit last November after he secured a job with the Lagos State Bus, LAGBUS, as a driver, where he earned N67,000 monthly. He was deplored to ply Ikorodu route.
But the sins of the past caught up with him recently, as men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS of the Lagos State Police Command who posed as buyers, contacted him for a bus.
Narrating how he landed in Police custody, Femi, said, “while working as LAGBUS driver, some of the receivers of the stolen buses kept calling me to bring buses for them. I went once in a while.
“But on this particular day, January 25, 2020, I received a call from a client who said he needed a Vanagon bus. I never suspected any foul play. I negotiated with him and we settled for N140,000.
“I told him to pay a mobilization fee of N5000. He did and we fixed an appointment to meet. When I got to the designated eatery, I was apprehended by operatives of the SARS”.
Crime Guard gathered that his arrest followed the recovery of one of the stolen buses. During interrogation, four other stolen buses were recovered, while the sixth one was discovered to have been sold as scrap. Other accomplices were also arrested.
Expressing regrets over his action, Femi, said, “ I have disappointed my parents. They never knew I was into this. I am using this opportunity to beg for their forgiveness”.
At the time of writing this report, the suspect and others paraded, had been charged to court.