Two suspected members of a syndicate that specialised in stealing vehicles known as ‘KOROPE’ in Lagos have been arrested.
The duo were also accused of breaking into about 25 shops in Lagos metropolis.
The police said nemesis caught up with the suspects when a complainant, Musibau Adeoba petitioned the Inspector General of Police, IGP that some robbery suspects stole his seven-passenger bus from where he parked it at Abesan Estate, Ipaja, Lagos on 12 August, 2022.
Following the report, the police deployed a crack team led by Inspector Fidelis Omage to Lagos, Nigeria to fish out the suspects anywhere they might be hiding.
With the directives, the police team swung into action and after days of intelligence gathering in Lagos metropolis, swooped on one of the suspects, Yomi Olajide caught driving the stolen bus with Reg. Number EDT 66 XA valued N1.2m at Ikorodu area of Lagos.
During investigation, according to the Police, Olajide was said to have confessed to the crime, saying that he and his accomplice, Hammed Oyebola, 51, stole the bus from where the owner parked it at Abesan Estate, Lagos.
Olajide led the police to arrest his alleged accomplice, Oyebola at Sango-Ota area of Ogun State, Southwest, Nigeria.
In his confession to the police, Olajide allegedly stated; “We specialise in stealing seven passengers bus popularly called KOROPE in Lagos metropolis from where it is parked and some times at gunpoint and we have stolen more than 20 bused and sold them at give away price.”
Olajide further confessed that they also specialise in breaking into shops in Lagos metropolis to steal properties and that they broke into a shop at 502, Ikorodu Road, Ketu, Lagos to steal properties such as 10 bags of rice valued N340,000, 25 litres of table oil valued at N64,000, 25 litres of red oil valued N50,000, all valued N454,000 belonging one Ojo Olayinwola.
He added that they normally used the stolen bus to convey the stolen properties to their buyers before selling the bus.
“We have broken into more than 25 shops in Ikorodu, Sango-Ota in Ogun State, Abesan, Ipaja, Iyana-Ipaja, Ketu and Ikorodu road to steal properties and our regrets now is that we did not know what we did with the proceeds we realised from the sales of the stolen buses and properties and that is why we are pleading with the police that we promised to stop robbing if we are set free,” Olajide told the Police.
The suspects who claimed to resides in Ikorodu and Sango-Ota were charged before the Tinubu Magistrate’s Court, Lagos on a four-count charge bordering on burglary and stealing.
Police Counsel, Abraham Fadipe told the court in the charge marked TA/22/2022 that the defendants committed the offence on 16 and 12 August, 2022 at 502, Ikorodu Road, Ketu and 4, Abesan Estate, Ipaja, Lagos at about 2.00am respectively.
Fadipe informed the court that the defendants had been terrorising and robbing residents of Lagos of buses and breaking into shops to steal properties for the past three years before nemesis finally caught up with them.
He said the offences the defendants committed were punishable under sessions 411, 307, 287(1) and 287 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges and Magistrate A.A Paul granted them N200,000 bail each with two sureties each in like sum.
Magistrate Paul adjourned the case till 21 November, 2022 for mention and ordered that the defendants be detained at the Ikoyi correctional facility, Lagos till they perfected their bail conditions.