‘My mother warned me against stealing,’ one- chance robbery suspect confesses
Ajibola Alao, 29, a member of a one-chance gang arrested by operatives of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Lagos State Police Command, has disclosed that his failure to heed his late mother’s advice not to steal other people’s belonging, has led to his arrest.
Alao was chased by RRS officers on patrol and arrested at the weekend during one of his operations in Oshodi after dispossessing their lone passenger of his two phones and the sum of N61,000.
The suspect, in company of the driver and conductor of their operational bus, a Volkswagen transporter, with the registration number, APP 820 XE, had picked up their passenger, Asotie Benedict, at Ladipo with an agreed plan to drop him at Oshodi under-bridge.
Alao and his accomplices, armed with an alternative plan, instead of stopping at Oshodi for him to alight, rather sped off, citing the presence of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) officials at the bus stop. It was at this point they dispossessed Asotie of his two mobile phones (Blackberry Passport and Samsung) and his wallet containing N61,000 before forcing him to alight while the vehicle, which was in motion.
According to the 24-year-old victim, “after throwing me out, they threw N100 to me, perhaps, for me to find my way back home. But, I didn’t give up, I chased after the bus.
“Fortunately, I sighted RRS vehicle, Response 091 and I quickly alerted them and they chased the vehicle to a halt. They arrested Alao, who took all I had on me but the driver and the conductor abandoned their vehicle and escaped.”
He added: “All they took from me were found on him and some additional phones, which he disclosed to the police they took from previous victims of their one chance operations.”
Alao, in his confessional statement, disclosed to be part of a three-man one chance gang and that the two additional phones in his possession belonged to two previous victims of their operation at Oshodi.
“I have been in the business of one- chance since 2015. At a point, I stopped and began pick pocketing, joining buses to Sango, Agege, Oshodi, Apapa and disembarking whenever I had fleeced commuters of their phones and money.
“I was once arrested in Mushin Olosa Police Station. My mother, who was very ill and on admission in a hospital at that time, was brought to see me in detention. She pleaded with the officers and secured my bail. She warned me repeatedly never to take other people’s sweat.
“She told me if I have been using other people’s sweat to foot her hospital bills, I should stop it forthwith. She insisted that if I wanted to live long, I should stop stealing from people. She added that the consequences would be too severe for me if I went back. A few weeks after the incident, she died.”
Confirming the development, the state’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Dolapo Badmos, said the command would not rest on its oars in nipping in the bud criminal activities in the state.