Police in Lagos have arrested a suspected pickpocket with seven stolen mobile phones belonging to attendees at the annual gospel musical concert, tagged ‘The Experience’.
The suspect, Lateef Nurudeen of 10, Obadina Street, Lagos Island, was arrested by men of Rapid Response Squad at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos.
Lateef, 19 years old, who was in company of his six other colleagues at the convention, was sighted holding a bag where he concealed the seven stolen phones.
The suspect told the police on interrogation that he was a barber.
On further scrutiny, Lateef claimed that he saw the bag underneath a flower bed when he couldn’t give satisfactory answer about the contents of the bag.
Found inside the bag were seven different mobiles phones, charms and purse. The purse contained identity card and ATM debit card belonging to one Chris Nkum Chinedu. The suspect confessed to be the owner of the charms found inside the bag.
Police said investigators have identified four owners of the seven phones. The owners, who reported at the RRS headquarter in Alausa were: Ukwajiba Felix, Ekhorelen Ruth, Kpanou Estelle and Kemi Ahmed.
The four owners reported at the RRS headquarters when officers called their relatives whose numbers were found on the stolen phones.
Ukwajiuba stated that immediately he discovered that his phone was missing, he reported the theft at Zone 2, Onikan, Lagos, where his details were taken.
Lateef, an ex – convict, confessed that the two charms found in the bags were for his protection, adding that he came to the church programme to pray and not to steal.
“I pray a lot. The charms are for my personal protection. They have been with me for ages. They were specially prepared for my protection against evil. I came to the crusade to pray,” he said.
‘’My friends that took to their heels when police started questioning me are confirmed trouble makers. They were at the programme only to cause commotion. That is what they do and how they make a living.
‘’I am a trouble maker too, but I came to that church programme to pray and not to steal. My friends ran because they knew I would be arrested. I pray a lot and that was why I was at the programme.’’
The Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal directed that the case be transferred to the Lagos State Criminal Investigation Department, while effort be intensified to arrest all other suspects involved in the theft.
He ordered that the stolen phones be released to their owners once they can provide evidence of ownership.