A 24-year-old Hakeem Fatai, has been arrested by operatives of Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of Lagos State Police Command, and confessed that he went into stealing because his father would not pay attention to his plight since he married another wife.
The suspect was apprehended for allegedly stealing batteries from the premises of Lagos State Transport Management Authority (LASTMA) at Ojota area office of the state.
It was learnt that his arrest was facilitated after men of the RRS acted on a tip-off by the LASTMA’s management about the missing batteries from their premises, and laid siege for the suspect. He was caught while attempting to remove another battery from an impounded bus.
It was revealed that the suspect with his accomplice, who is at large, together stole no fewer than Twenty (20) batteries from impounded vehicles parked inside the premises of LASTMA within a fortnight.
Confessing to the crime, Hakeem said he stole the batteries with an accomplice he identified as Yahoo, now at large.
He said, “Yes, I am responsible for the missing batteries. But I didn’t work alone. We are a two-man syndicate who usually steal batteries.
“We target Volkswagen bus because its batteries can be removed easily without much stress. We don’t usually go for trailer because its battery is well protected with burglary”.
It was learnt that the suspect was arrested about 2:00 a.m. over the weekend, by the operatives.
Explaining how he usually got access into the premises, said that he always scale through the agency’s fence into the compound and remove the batteries while his accomplice stayed outside to watch the surroundings for him.
“We have devised our operation to the extent that no one could suspect us while committing the crime inside the premises.
“We know the exact time to scale through the fence because their security guards are too fond of sleeping. We capitalized on their inefficiency to strike”, he confessed.
Giving account on why he preferred stealing to legitimate work, the suspect revealed, “Immediately after the death of my mother about ten years ago, after a while, my father re-married. And I felt that once he had remarried, he would shift his attention from us to the new wife. So, I decided to abscond from home to fend for my self.
“I went straight to Mile 12 where I met some young boys like me. I have been living in that ghetto since that time. I tried all sort of jobs but I was not deriving pleasure from them.
“Before I finally left my father’s house, he had taken me to where I will learn plumbing work at Ajelogo around Mile 12. Despite all that, I wasn’t satisfied.
“At a particular point in time, I felt tired of this life. This prompted my action to be stealing those batteries”.
The suspect, who is a native of Ijebu-Ode, said that he sold each battery for N2, 500 to one battery charger at Ogijo, suburb of Ogun state.
His confessional statement led to the arrest of the receiver of the stolen items, Nofiu Oriade, 46, the following day by the RRS operatives.
The receiver of the stolen batteries who professed ignorant of the crime, said that he never knew those batteries were stolen items.
“I was ignorant of the sources of those batteries. I thought he was a scavenger who picked up any unused items from refuse dumb. I don’t know he is a thief. I have regretted my action to have been collecting those batteries from him”, he pleaded.
While confirming the arrest of the two suspects, the State Police Public Relations Officer, (PPRO) Superintendent of Police, Dolapo Badmus, said that the onslaught to rid-off crime activities in the state is yielding more positive results.
The suspects have been transferred to Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) for further investigation.
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