Operatives of Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Lagos State Police Command, at the weekend arrested one Jamiu Bello, 26, who allegedly specialises in motorcycle theft, across all the southwestern states of Nigeria.
The suspect was arrested by the RRS operatives while trying to steal a motorcycle, popularly known as okada, with registration number, KTU 388 QG, belonging to Israel Ikyav, a commercial motorcyclist at Ijora Olopa area of Lagos.
According to the victim, “I parked my motorcycle beside a canteen around Ijora. As I entered to eat, I noticed people outside were chasing one guy. One of my colleagues rushed into the canteen to call me that one guy had stolen my motorcycle. I left the plate of food I ordered for and joined them in chasing him.”
Ikyav added that but for the prompt intervention of the RRS riders, the suspect would have made away with his bike.
“We knew that we could not catch up with him because he was far ahead of us with the motorcycle.
“I quickly alerted the RRS riders, who were patrolling the area. Immediately, they chased after the suspect with their bikes. After so much effort, they double-crossed him with their bikes.
“At this point, the thief abandoned the bike and tried to escape on foot. Later, he stopped another motorcyclist to flee the area before he was arrested,” he narrated.
The suspect, a father of three, whose body was filled with scars as a result of injuries from his past criminal activities, told newsmen how he has been stealing bikes in states across the Southwest.
“I started this crime about two years ago. There were two of us and we operated in Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Ekiti and Ondo states.
“My accomplice, whose name is Ibijuwon, is currently serving a jail term in Kirikiri Prison. The day we went for the operation where he was arrested, it was around Lagos Island, I managed to escape with the stolen bike while he was arrested and subsequently, taken to the court where he was eventually sentenced to jail.”
He further explained that: “On this fateful day, I left Epe to Yaba area. On getting to Yaba, I looked around to know how to start the day’s job. I couldn’t find any motorcycle to steal.
“Then, I decided to move to Ijora-Olopa. I contracted a commercial motorcycle from Yaba to Ijora. At Ijora, I saw this man (his victim) when he parked his motorycle outside and entered the canteen. I noticed that he had locked its steering. So, I quickly asked the rider who took me from Yaba that I wanted to alight to see my brother briefly in that area. I moved closer to the bike and broke its locked steering. Then I mounted it and zoomed off,” he confessed.
Continuing, he said: “I have stolen more than 20 motorcycles across the Southwest. If I go to other states apart from Lagos to operate, I always ride the bike down to Lagos to sell. I have two receivers of these stolen bikes. One of them lives at Alamutu in Mushin while the other is in Ijora. Averagely, I sell one motorcycle for N40,000, depending on how clean it looks.”
The State’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Dolapo Badmus, a Superintendent of Police, who confirmed the incident, said efforts are ongoing to arrest receivers of the stolen motorcycles.