Two arrested over shoplifting in Lagos
Policemen attached to the Rapid Response Squad (RRS), at the weekend arrested two suspected shoplifters at the Abule Oja area of Yaba, Lagos. They allegedly stole two telephones.
When the RRS operatives arrived at the scene, Ufoma Asakpa, 22, and Augustine Omedo, 20, were arrested after engaging the owner of the shop in a fight and allegedly stealing the phones. Asakpa had taken off with the phones when police arrested his accomplice, but showed up later to brandish a forged identity card before the policemen.
Surprised by the action and boldness of the suspected shoplifter, the policemen carried out a search on his vehicle, following which two brand new mobile phones were found in the boot of his car. He was subsequently arrested along with his accomplice and taken to the RRS headquarters at Alausa, Ikeja.
In his confessional statement, Augustine said, “I am a secondary school dropout. I was unable to proceed to senior classes after I failed junior WAEC. My parents took me to my brother’s shop to learn how to repair generators, but I could not endure the period of apprenticeship.
“While looking for ways to earn quick money, I met my partner who introduced this act of stealing to me. I joined him about 10 months ago. This is the first time the police are arresting us.
“In fact, my parents must not know that I am a thief because I leave home every day as if I were going to work. I have regretted my actions. It was the devil who pushed me into it,” he said.
On his part, Ufoma, who lives at 10, Kehinde Street, Ajegunle, Lagos, regretted that bad friendship lured him into stealing.
“While I was in this shop, my partner had also gone to another shop to steal phones. We had successfully stolen those phones, suddenly, we saw RRS men chasing us. As we were about to mount a motorcycle, we were flagged down and arrested,” he said.
The two suspects, who revealed that they had stolen about 70 phones this year, simply identified their buyer as Alfa who owns a shop at Boundary in Ajegunle.
The owner of the shop, Mr. Oluwole Allen, who followed them to the police headquarters, said he never suspected that they were thieves when they entered his shop.
“When they came to my shop, I stood up to attend to them, not knowing that one of them had stolen my phones. The other guy went to another shop to do the same before he was caught in the process. Instantly, I looked around to search for my phone but could not find it. When we searched both of them, I found my phone on one of them,” he said.
Commander of the RRS, Assistant Commissioner of Police Olatunji Disu said, “Our policemen who were on patrol around Yaba axis got a distress call that some people had stolen valuables.
“Upon completion of preliminary investigation, we discovered that the two suspects specialised in stealing phones and other valuable items while pretending as customers.
The suspects have been transferred to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the state police command for further investigation.