‘How we steal phones from sex workers in Ogun, resell to their colleagues in Lagos’
Operatives of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Lagos State police command have arrested two suspects, who allegedly specialise in stealing mobile phones from their girlfriends and commercial sex hawkers after lodging them in motels and sell to other prostitutes.
The suspects, Semiu Obanla, 35, and David Edet, 32, both married, were arrested at an hotel in Abule-Egba, Lagos, after a stolen phone was tracked to the hotel where they lodged. In his confession to the police, Semiu said: “David and I met at a site in Ikorodu where we both worked as artisans before extending the working relationship to friendship.
“Apart from working as a labourer in construction sites, I also work at the Idi-Iroko border where I assist smugglers to load and offload goods at the border posts”.He disclosed to the police: “Sometime in February this year, I reconnected with David. I invited him to work at the border post after his attempts to raise money through ‘Yahoo-Yahoo’ failed. We connived to start stealing phones and valuables from our dates and prostitutes because David and I do visit the brothels for sexual pleasures after our daily work”.
He explained further: “That night after drinking at a bar in Atan area of Ogun State, we proceeded to negotiate with prostitutes in order to enjoy our night. Before approaching them, we planned to steal their valuables. The plan was successful. We had two unsuspecting prostitutes who believed we were good customers but didn’t know our motive. We agreed for N5,000 for a night for each of the prostitutes. We paid N3,000 for the lodging at a nearby motel, which we used regularly.
“As planned, David was to sneak into my own room at about 3:00a.m. steal my phone and hers. In the morning, we began to look for the phones, to the point that even the hotel workers joined us. We sold the itel android phone for N20,000 to another prostitute, one Chimedi, popularly called Cyndi in Abule-Egba, Lagos, where we usually visit and shared the proceed.
“In another incident, sometime in April, I met a lady in a public transport. I spoke with the lady and invited her to our regular drinking bar. On the fateful day, as usual, David and I planned how to steal the lady’s mobile phone and flee the scene. When the lady arrived the bar, I purposely used the lady’s phone till the battery went low. I offered to help her charge the phone inside the bar. She agreed and released it to me despite my being a stranger.
“I kept the phone in my pocket and walked out to tell her I was helping her to charge it. I then pretended I was receiving calls, and stepped outside the bar from where I fled on a motorcycle and David followed suit. We proceeded to the Abule-Egba brothel to sell the phone as usual. We sold the phone to a sex worker. It was here RRS officers tracked the phone to us and arrested us with some of the stolen phones,” he narrated.
The suspects have been transferred to the SCID for further investigations. Speaking on the development, the command’s spokesman, Chike Oti warned Lagosians to be cautious of criminals pretending to be helpers. He added that the command would be unrelenting in its onslaught against criminals still operating in the state.
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