Two suspected handset and handbag snatchers during traffic at Law School and 1004 Estate axis of Victoria Island, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria have allegedly confessed to the Police at the Ikoyi Division, that their mode of robbing motorists of their phones and handbags during traffic was either to raise the alarm of fuel leakage underneath their vehicles or tyre leakage to distract them.
They said that once they come down to look underneath their vehicles, they would in a jiffy steal their belongings and escaped.
A Police source alleged that nemesis, however, caught up with the suspects, Lekan Adebowale, 19, and Abiodun Daramola, 20, on 25 March, 2019 when they distracted a victim, Efe Gbeyoron by telling him that his fuel hose was leaking and that as he pulled out his face to check, the suspects quickly stole his Samsung Galaxy j5 on the dash-board valued N60,000 through the passenger door wind-down glass and took to their heels toward the Falomo bridge.
The victim alighted from his car and chased after them, shouting ‘thief, thief’ unknown to them that the DPO in charge of Ikoyi Division, CSP Tijani Mustapha N’abba and his team were inside their operational vehicle atop the Falomo bridge watching them.
The source added that the DPO ordered his men who were in mufti to pretend as hawkers and arrest the suspects to prevent them from jumping into the Lagoon from the top of the bridge and that they tactically arrested the suspects and recover the stolen phone from them and took them to the station.
During investigation, according to the Police, the suspects allegedly confessed to the alleged Crime that they only steal handsets and hand bags from motorists who wind down their door glasses.
Adebowale allegedly stated: “We normally rob motorists who wind-down their vehicle door glasses during the traffic but we do not use arms.”
“Once we cite our victim, we would distract him or her that fuel was leaking underneath their vehicles and once they pulled out their faces to check, we would quickly steal their phones or bags and escaped toward the opposite traffic directions, and we promised to look for a better work to do if we are set free from this case,” Adebowale allegedly stated.
The suspects were charged before the Igbosere Magistrate Court, Lagos on a three-count of stealing.
Police counsel, Inspector Okete Ejime said the offences committed were punishable under sections 299, 287(1) and 287 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.
The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the alleged crime and Magistrate H.O Omishore granted them bail in the sum of N50,000 each with one surety each in like sum.
Omishore adjourned the case till 5 April, 2019 for mention and ordered that the defendants be kept at Ikoyi Prison till they perfected the bail conditions.