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A phone thief arrested by the operatives of the Rapid Response Squad of the Lagos State Police Command has confessed to stealing over 1200 from Lagos commuters since he joined a pickpocketing gang.

The suspect, Femi Solomon, from Ogun State was arrested last Thursday by the operatives at Iyana Oworo, Lagos, after stealing a Samsung phone from a commuter in a bus stampede.

Solomon, an auto technician revealed that he joined a pickpocketing gang in Obalende, where he was ushering people to buy used cloth popularly called “Okrika”.

He claimed being introduced to pickpocketing by Ismaila, one of his customers, whom he had approached for assistance to get a better job.

The Suspect said: “I told him I was looking for a better job opportunity, and he assured me that he was going to assist me with one. And said I should be following him, while I learn from him”.

“I then started following and monitoring what he was doing. We were moving from one bus stop in Lagos to the other from morning till evening. He was stealing phones and wallets from passengers inside a bus and at bus stops” he added.

The suspect said “For the six months that l followed him, we would pick 6 to 8 phones and wallets from people without them knowing. He kept everything to himself, but at the end of the day, he would give me between N4,000 to N6,000 depending on his wish”.

“In August 2016, I started on my own. I wasn’t bold enough to pickpocket during the day. Besides, I was still a “greenhorn” and inexperienced, so I devised to go out from evening since nobody pickpocket at night”.

“I start operation at 6:00 p.m and I end at 9:00 p.m. My target is between 4 to 5 mobile phones in a day. Once being able to hit that figure, I stop operation and I retire for the day. I sell phones to a friend based in Lagos Island”, he revealed, adding that he must have stolen 1200 phones by standing at Lagos bus stops and inside commercial buses.

“The routes I normally go to are Ajegunle, Iyana Oworo to Ketu, Ketu to Ojota and Oshodi to Mile 2. I operate on Monday, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. I also operate at night parties and where there are overnight events”, he stated.

Recovered from the suspect, who has been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) for further investigations, were four mobile phones.

Commenting on the development, the State Police Command’s Principal Public Relations Officer, SP. Chike Oti sàid that the onslaught against criminal elements still operating in the State is ongoing and no criminal would be spared.

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