Operatives of the Zonal Intervention Squad, Abeokuta, Ogun State, have arrested a three-man syndicate for allegedly robbing passengers in the Itori area of the state.
Reporter says that the suspects, Seun Ademosu, Segun Akinde and Kayode Sokunbi, usually drove around the community, looking for their victims.
A police source said the modus operandi of the gang after picking a victim was to stop on an isolated road, saying the vehicle had developed a fault or somone’s finger was stuck to the door.
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He explained that the unsuspecting passenger would then be robbed of his valuables and pushed out.
He said, “One Mrs. Kehinde Oluwaferanmi was robbed of N100,000 on October 12 after one of the robbers, Sokunbi, raised the alarm that his finger was stuck to the door. The woman did not know they had removed her money in the bag.
“She reported to the ZIS. After investigation, Akinde and Sokunbi were arrested. They confessed to the crime, but said their gang leader, Ademosu, who was at large, was with the money.”
Our correspondent learnt that 28-year-old Ademosu was arrested after allegedly leading another gang to steal N1.4m from a cement dealer.
The victim was reported to have collected the money from a customer in the Ifo area and was heading for a bank in Ewekoro.
“On getting to Abule Oko, the woman heard one of them shouting that his hand was stuck to the door. The woman said the other passengers asked the driver to stop. All of a sudden, they snatched her bag, pushed her out and zoomed off,” the policeman added.
The dealer was reported to have spotted the driver three days later while going on a trip and raised the alarm, leading to the arrest of the suspect.
“The first two suspects, who had been in police cell, spotted him and immediately identified him as the leader of their gang who was with the N100,000 they stole from their victim at that time,” the policeman said.
However, 28-year-old Ademosu gave a different version of the story, saying he was innocent of the crime.
He said, “Some local government officials flagged down my cab and said they wanted to arrest some robbery suspects and I should assist them. Immediately we got to a complex, they went inside and picked these two men (Akinde and Sokunbi).
“From the council, the officials asked me to drive them to the police station where they handed them over to the police.
“Three days later, I took two passengers at Abule Oko and they said they were heading for Papalanto. When I got there, they said I should take them to Itori. When other passengers dropped at the last bus stop, the two passengers said I should wait for them and they would return to pay me.
“When they didn’t return on time, I became anxious and asked people where they were. One of the passengers emerged from a complex and asked if I knew her. I said I had just carried her and was waiting to be paid my N200 fare. She held me by the shirt and said I took N1.4m from her. I was shocked. I am working so that I will not steal. Why will I involve myself in crime?”
Akinde and Sokunbi, however, insisted that Ademosu was their gang leader, saying he was lying.
Sokunbi said they had gone on two successful operations together.
He said, “The first time, we robbed a man of N15,000. I was given N5,000 as my share. The second time, we robbed a woman of N100,000. I had jammed the car door against my hand deliberately when I raised the alarm. I removed the money from the woman’s bag before she realised it.”
Odumosu, however, continued to maintain his innocence, saying he was ready to swear to an oath.
The Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 2 Police Command, Adamu Ibrahim, said the suspects would be arraigned in court at the end of investigation.