In what appeared to be a clampdown on criminals operating in Oshodi, Lagos State, prelude to the festive seasons, operatives of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Lagos State Police Command have arrested six teenage mobile phone thieves in Oshodi.
The suspects who were brought in batches to the RRS’s Headquarters in Alausa, Ikeja were all apprehended the same day in Oshodi while brazenly dispossessing commuters of their belongings.
The suspects; Ganiyu Rahman (18); Sadiq Adebayo (15); Timilehin Oluwaseun (14); Ogundare Moyinoluwa (18); Toheeb Tijani (19) and Adeleke Sodiq (17) were arrested on Friday October 28,2016 in Oshodi Oke.
According to one of the suspects, Ganiyu Rahman, “we are over 50 boys. We are always in Oshodi – Oke, from morning till late in the night. Some of us genuinely help people to carry their loads while a lot of us are there to snatch handbags, phones and other valuables from people.
“At times, we pretend to be helping them but our focus are their valuables. Most times, we work in groups. While the other is helping out, another person is stealing the victim’s valuables either from bag or pocket. There some other guys who forcibly dispossess passers-by of their belongings. These gangs operate early in the morning and late at night when their victims are helpless.” Ganiyu explained.
Ganiyu disclosed that he is a product of a broken home which has seen his parents re-marrying.
“I have been sleeping in Oshodi under the bridge since 2013. I work as conductor and whenever am not on duty, I am with my peers to rob and snatch valuables in Oshodi.” he confessed.
“We were three when we stole a Microsoft phone from a lady’s bag. We pretended to be helping the lady to get a bus meanwhile, our intent was her phones. I have been committed to 13 month rehabilitation by the Lagos State Taskforce but my home is in Oshodi under bridge.”
His victim, Sarah Obende, an undergraduate from the University of Lagos (UNILAG) said she thought she had lost the phone forever.
“I thought I had lost the phone. I discovered it was missing immediately I boarded a bus in Oshodi. I received a call in the evening that I should come to Alausa to collect my phone,” she disclosed.
Another suspect, Sadiq Adebayo who was allegedly in company of two other boys while stealing an iphone and a phantom Tecno phone from a car, disclosed his peers stole the phones and not him.
“Osas and Janbele stole the two phones in my presence. We have sold the two phones along with seven other phones to Tuwo in Idi Oro, Mushin. They gave me N7,000 from the proceeds.”
Four of the remaining suspects, namely: Timilehin Oluwaseun, Ogundare Moyinoluwa, Toheeb Tijani and Adeleke Sodiq were all separately apprehended while stealing phones and purses from commuters in similar circumstances.
Sources within RRS disclosed that the onslaught on criminals has been stretched to various black spots in the state.
Responding to the development, the Police Public Relations Officer, Superintendent Dolapo Badmos, said Police would leave no stone unturned in getting rid of criminal elements within the state, urging parents to monitor the activities of their wards and children.
The suspects have been transferred to Lagos State Taskforce.