Monday, 21 September 2015

Pick-pocket Gang Arrested When Fighting Over Loot Sharing

Three persons have been arrested by Lagos State Rapid Response Squad (RRS) operatives for alleged phone theft.

They are Ebuka Ekujere, Monsuru Onanuga, and Segun Alao.

The suspects were caught about 1:20pm on Friday, around Eko Hotel on Victoria Island, after they allegedly snatched a phone belonging to a passenger in a tricycle.

It was learnt that Ekujere who boarded the same tricycle with the passenger, removed the phone from the owner’s pocket and hid it on the seat.

Onanuga and Alao were said to have seen him, but they kept mum and later collected N3,000 from Ekujere for not giving him out.

According to the police, Ekujere, who lives on Ezeagu Street in Ajegunle, said the other two suspects knew he was a thief. The police quoted him as saying that he usually settled them whenever they caught him in the act.

The suspects were caught, while arguing on how to share the loot.

In his statement, Ekujere said: “I boarded a tricycle at Eko Hotel roundabout to Obalende and in front of Eko Hotel gate, I removed a handset from a passenger’s pocket and dropped it on the seat.

“Not knowing that his phone has been stolen, the passenger alighted by the hotel.

“But Alao and Onanuga who saw me when I picked the handset, joined me in the tricycle.

“Both of them demanded for settlement and I gave them N3,000 but Onanuga further attempted to collect the phone and my money.

“Then, I engaged them in a verbal confrontation and this attracted the tricycle rider.

“Having explained what transpired to him, he held me and handed me over to RRS operatives stationed in front of Eko Hotel.”

Other suspects denied knowing Ekujere is a thief, but admitted that they collected N3,000 from him.

Onanuga, who claimed that he is a member of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Jakande Branch, said he was on assignment at Eko Hotel round about to regulate traffic.

He denied knowing Ekujere before the incident, adding that he was not his accomplice.

“I was at my duty post when I sighted a man later identified as Ekujere pick a handset on a seat inside a tricycle. I and Alao challenged him to know if he is the owner but he said he was not.

“He promised to give us N3,000 which he did. Having collected the money, we parted ways.

“Later he came back and asked us to give him N1,000 out of the money which we did. We later saw Ekujere and a tricycle rider dragging themselves.

“We went there to ascertain what was happening, in the process, Ekujere pointed at us to the Police that we are his accomplices. That was how the RRS team arrested us.”

Alao admitted that they demanded for settlement from the prime suspect after he stole the handset.

“I did not know it’s a crime to aid and abet criminal act. We promised never to do that again. We were only looking for daily bread,” he said.

Police spokesman, Joe Offor, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP), warned residents against aiding and abetting crime.

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