By Nkasi Kolie
Two suspected serial pickpockets have confessed that they were making over N80,000 daily in their illicit business in Lagos.
They were arrested by Lagos State Taskforce while they were operating in a commercial bus (Danfo). The suspects, Sodiq Olagoke, 25, and Lucas Patrick, 26,were arrested by operatives of the Agency in the early hours of Tuesday after they had dispossessed eight unsuspecting commuters of their phones around Oshodi/Ikeja Along axis.
The Taskforce officers who made the arrest disclosed that the suspects who were roving the said axis in their Danfo commercial bus looked suspicious and noticed that the driver and the two male passengers seemed uneasy when they saw the officers.
The police, said:“We kept on their trail for a few minutes before double crossing their vehicle at Oshodi, and the three occupants in the bus took to their heels. Two out of the three suspects were arrested with the assistance of passers-by around and we found eight different mobile phones belonging to different passengers who boarded their vehicle”.
Sodiq who claimed to be a painter by profession, said that he has been in the pickpocket business for over a year and boasted of a daily bounty of N80,000 per day which he shared with his partners in crime.
According to Sodiq , “we operated mainly on Tuesdays and Fridays because those are the busiest days of the week and there is usually a lot of hustle and bustle at the bus stops”
“Passengers who make use of their phones while in our bus were usually falsely alerted by the conductor that there was a fight going on in front which would make the passenger pocket their phones which would offer the conductor to pick their pockets and we would steal the phones”. stated.
The second suspect, Lucas Patrick, who was the bus driver also confessed that pickpocketing was a very lucrative business for him.
“We made a lot of money from it but unfortunately we spent our proceeds on drinks, women and gambling. I was originally a driver of a Danfo bus but when I came across Sodiq one day when he operated successfully in my bus I decided to go into partnership with him. I used to drive him around while he stole the phones from the passengers”.
Lagos State Taskforce Chairman, CSP Shola Jejeloye said that the Agency would make the State uninhabitable for criminal elements.
Jejeloye enjoined Lagosians to be vigilant and conscious of their environment at all times and ensure that any suspicious moves are reported to the Agency or to the nearest Police Station.