The operatives of Rapid Response Squad of the Lagos State Police Command have apprehended one Hakeem Fatai, 24, for allegedly stealing batteries from the premises of Lagos State Transport Management Authority at Ojota area office of the state.
The policemen, who acted on a tip-off by the LASTMA’s management about the missing batteries from their premises, laid siege for the suspect and caught him while attempting to remove another battery from an impounded bus.
No fewer than 20 batteries have been removed from the impounded vehicles, which were parked inside the premises within a fortnight.
On his arrival at the RRS’ headquarters, the suspect owned up that he operated with an accomplice he identified as Yahoo, now at large.
According to him: “Yes I am responsible for the missing batteries. But I didn’t work alone. We are a two-man syndicate who usually steal batteries.
“Our targeted vehicle was Volkswagen bus because its batteries can be removed easily without much stress.
“We don’t usually go for trailer for its battery is protected with burglary.”
The suspect, who was picked-up at about 2am over the weekend by the operatives, said he always scales through the agency’s fence to access the compound and remove the batteries, while his accomplice stayed outside to watch the surroundings for him.
He said: “We have devised our operation to the extent that no one could suspect us while committing the crime inside the premises.
“We know the exact time to scale through the fence because their security guards are too fond of sleeping. We capitalized on their inefficiency to strike.”
Giving account on why he preferred stealing to legitimate work, the suspect revealed: “Immediately after the death of my mother about 10 years ago, after a while, my father re-married. And I felt that once he had remarried, he would shift his attention from us to the new wife. So, I decided to abscond from home to fend for myself.
“I went straight to Mile 12 where I met some young boys like me. I have been living in that ghetto since that time. I tried all sort of jobs but I was not deriving pleasure from them.
“Even before I finally left my father’s home, he had taken me to where I will learn plumbing work at Ajelogo around Mile 12. Despite all that, I wasn’t satisfied.
“At a particular point in time, I felt tired of this life. This prompted my action to be stealing those batteries.”
The suspect, who is a native of Ijebu-Ode, said he sold each battery for N2,500 to one battery charger at Ogijo, a suburb of Ogun State. His confessional statement led to the arrest of the receiver of the stolen items, Nofiu Oriade, 46, the following day by the RRS operatives.
While confirming the arrest of the two suspects, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Superintendent of Police, Dolapo Badmus, said the onslaught to rid-off crime activities in the state is yielding more positive results.
The suspects have been transferred to Special Anti-Robbery Squad for further investigation.