Monday, February 1, 2016 4:21 pm
A traffic thieving suspect arrested at the weekend by the operatives of the Rapid Response Squad, RRS, of the Lagos State Police Command has explained how his gang dispossess motorists on Lekki-Ajah Expressway, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, of their valuables whenever there is traffic gridlock.
The suspect, Biodun Omoyeni, 22, from Ibadan, Oyo State, explained that his two-man traffic gang normally fooled the driver that the tyre of his car was flat while another member of the gang picked up valuables from the other side of the driver’s seat.
He was arrested by the operatives of the RRS, who disguised as passers-by when they were hinted by motorists on the activities of his gang in Lekki – Ajah Expressway traffic.
Omoyeni noted that his partner and gang leader, Rasaq, 24, still at large, trained him and four other boys how to steal mobile phones and valuables in traffic and on motorbikes in Mushin.
He added “Rasaq is a meat seller at Sabo, Ikorodu. He is homeless and we have been to four operations together. We stole up to 19 phones in those operations. We always operate in Ajah. We meet in Mushin and Ojuelegba whenever we want to operate before heading to Lekki and Ajah for our operations. We conduct for commercial buses and we use that to monitor traffic till 7:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. when it has built up before we start operating.
“Once there is traffic, we strategize and we start operating. One of us from the driver side tells the motorist that the tyre is punctured while the other person through the window takes the phones, money, wallets, pad and other valuables from the other side of the driver.”
The suspect, with several scars on his face said, “the wounds in my face are as a result of street fighting. I was rejected in four hospitals two years ago before I was admitted in UCH, Ibadan, where the wounds were stitched.
“I am not an armed robber. It was Rasaq that introduced me to all this. It is all because we are normally together all the time. I was a tyre seller in Ibadan before I decided to follow a friend to Lagos on a greener pasture.”
One of the victims, Paul Eugene, a music instructor, whose phones were found with Omoyeni, and returned to him, thanked the RRS for recovering his phones in less than three hours after being stolen in traffic.
Eugene stated that one of the suspects distracted him from focusing on his driving that his rear tyre was flat but on checking it, he noticed nothing, but he observed other motorists rolling up their glasses in traffic.
“I didn’t know Omoyeni from the other side of my car has taken my phones and some money. I was still in the car when a fellow motorist told me that they have stolen my phones. I was surprised about two hours after the incidence to see a neighbour knocking at my door that the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) called that I should come and pick up my phones and that the suspects have been arrested”, he added
Meanwhile, the operative of the RRS has arrested one Oladeinde Oresegun for buying stolen phones from Biodun Omoyeni.
Oresegun said he sells fairly used materials in Idi – Oro, Mushin, Lagos. He added that he has only bought four phones from Omoyeni, stressing that he did not know that he was a traffic robber.
He stated that the phones he bought from him last included a Nokia Lumia at N2,500 and a Techno iPad at N3,500. He pleaded for leniency.
The suspect along with the buyer had been transferred to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) headquarters in Ikeja.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Dolapo Badmus confirmed the arrest, stating that there would be no reprieve for criminals in Lagos State.