‘There was no profit in my saw milling business so I took to buying stolen phones’
An ex-saw miller, Benjamin Ademola, who quit the job in quest of, as he said, greener pastures in the sale of stolen mobile phones, is regretting the decision.
Forty-year-old Ademola was a saw miller at the Okobaba sawmills, Ebute Meta, Lagos mainland, but he decided to walk away from the business because, as he said in his confessional statement, there wasn’t much profit in it.
The suspect said he met the pick pocket who introduced him to the phone theft crime last year.
“I have lost count of how many phones I had purchased from him, but I can remember that all the phones I bought from him are androids. I later shifted base to the Computer Village, Ikeja, where I mixed with those who hock phone accessories. I started hocking accessories myself. Later I got a small stand where I sell phones.
“Every day, pickpockets and bag snatchers come to the market with phones. We buy phones cheaply from them. After buying, we will clean them with spirit to make them look new. We will replace those with broken screens with new screens before putting them up for sale. It was Idris that brought the police to arrest me. I was told that he was arrested at Ebute Meta where he had gone to steal a phone from a house, “he said.
Idris admitted supplying Ademola with stolen phones, stressing that Ademola was one of his major receivers of stolen goods.
He said, “I had gone to a house at Oyingbo last Friday. It was around 5:00a.m. and the day was still dark. I cut the net of the window with a razor blade. It was a single room. I peeped into the room and saw an iPhone on a table. I stretched my hand through the hole I made on the window and took the phone.
“The owner spotted me as I was about leaving and raised an alarm which attracted people in the neighbourhood. They pursued and caught up with me around the Denton area. They gave me the beating of my life before handing me over to the police.”