The Lagos State Police Command has apprehended a group of notorious robbers who deal in stealing cars and re-selling. It was gathered that a pastor,
Lawal Adesoye, whose vehicle was snatched by the robbers at gunpoint in Unity Estate, Igando, Lagos reported the matter to the police on Monday, May 26.
At about 8.15pm on the fateful day, two members of the gang had swooped on the pastor while he was driving into his compound and had snatched the vehicle, a Toyota Camry model.However, about a week later, following a tip-off, the SARS raided a building believed to be the hideout of the gang and arrested the three suspects.Twenty-seven-year-old Kareem, also known as Asunmo, who is said to be the gang leader, said harsh conditions that forced him into armed robbery.He told Punch
“I and Michael (Adeagbo) used to be okada riders. We met in Oshodi in 2006. Our condition was terrible as we were living from hand to mouth. But when the government placed a ban on motorcycles, life became more difficult and some of us took to robbery. The first car I snatched was a Toyota Camry. I sold it for N180,000 and with the money, I was able to meet my needs.
“Before taking to robbery, I was formerly into smuggling. I was bringing in pineapples from Lagos through the Seme Border. Later, Michael told me he was going to Ile-Ife, his hometown, to get a gun, so we could start the car-snatching operation. It was on one of our operations that we were caught. We did not know the pastor before. We just saw him coming and we decided to snatch his vehicle. We sold the car for N290,000.”
The second gang member, 25-year-old Adeagbo, who hails from Ile-Ife, Osun State, said he took to robbery when his poverty was getting to ‘an unbearable level.He said,
“I was an okada rider plying the Oshodi area, but I lived in Ikotun. But when we were sent away by the government, I could not make ends meet again. I took to robbery.
“Apart from vehicles, I was also stealing phones, gold, laptops and others. I took to all these things, because I needed to make ends meet. The other members of my previous armed robbery gang were one Lucky and Kunle. Kunle is still in the Kirikiri Medium Prisons, but Lucky has died.”
On the robbery incident that led to his arrest, Adeagbo said he had gone to Ile-Ife to get the gun so that their operations could be more ‘effective.’
“I brought the gun from my village in Ile-Ife. We were not using a gun initially, but I brought it so that we could threaten our victims. On that particular day, Kareem and I were just strolling out, when we saw the pastor driving into his compound. So, we ambushed him, and hijacked his car. We did not want him to shout, so we threatened him with the gun, drove him away to some distance before dropping him off.”
The third member of the gang, 32-year-old Patrick whohails from Ibillo, Edo State, confessed he provided the gang with shelter. He added that he usually received ‘gifts’ from the two after each operation.
He said, “On that day, Michael had brought a black bag to my house, which contained the pastor’s belongings. He also dropped the gun at my place. Many times, they had given me phones and cash after their operations. We usually smoked cannabis in the house. The place belongs to my father.”