The Lagos State Police Command has arrested a suspected armed robber, Adekunle Martins, who specialised in snatching valuables from people along the Third Mainland Bridge, in the Oworonshoki area of Lagos.
The police stated that Martins allegedly belonged to a gang who made use of weapons such as cutlasses and guns to attack motorists on the highway, particularly in the early mornings.
Our correspondent learnt that Martins, along with his colleagues, were arrested by operatives of the state Special Anti-robbery Squad after a tip-off had reached the Operation Commander, SP Abba Kyari.
It was further gathered that the valuables the gang usually snatched included handbags, telephones and laptops.
Twenty-year-old Martins from Isale Eko, Lagos Island, told PUNCH Metro that he took to stealing because of poverty, and was ready to preach against the act if released from detention.
He said, “I am used to hustling as a young man. I was formerly working in an aluminium company. It is true that I usually snatched bags and valuables.
“I have not got married. My parents are divorced and do not live together. My father stays on the Lagos Island, while my mother is in Ikorodu. All this mess is because of poverty. If God saves me from this trouble, I will not only quit robbing, I will start preaching to people that the act is bad.”
Martins added that he had been involved in snatching of valuables on two occasions, and had made N5,000 from them.
He said, “On the day we were caught, I remember I stole a bag from a certain woman. There was money and some recharge cards in the bag. It was a huge sum of money. Unfortunately, the police were behind us, but we did not know.
“They trailed me and my friend, arrested us, and collected the bag for the owner. That was just the second time I would snatch a bag. The first time I snatched a bag, I found N5,000 in the bag. I used the money to enjoy myself.”
Our correspondent gathered that Martins was arrested on Saturday, August 16 around the Oshodi Market area when he was at the point of selling the stolen valuables.
It was further learnt that four other members of the gang had been arrested, and were being quizzed by the police.