The operatives of the Rapid Response Squad of the Lagos State Police Command have arrested a burglar, a phone dealer and nine phone users over 65 stolen phones valued at N2.5 million.
The phones were carted away from a shop in Ogba area of the State.
The suspected burglar, Musa Abdullah, 30, who hails from Kano State, was arrested on Friday at Abattoir, Agege, along with a phone dealer with over stolen 65 phones belonging to Nelson Mendie, a phone seller in Ogba, Ikeja.
Nelson, 27, a phone seller at 92, Yaya Abatan, Ogba, had on April 24, 2016 lodged a complaint at Ogba Police Station that his shop was burgled with 65 phones stolen.
All the phones packs and their accessories were left behind.
According to Nelson: “After reporting the case, someone told me that Rapid Response Squad is very good at tracking lost phones and cars.
“I just picked up what he said because there was no suspect.
“I reported the case to RRS on Thursday last week.
“I gave them some of the phone packs.
“On Friday, they invited me to their office to come and see the suspects.
“I was very shocked that a Fulani guy I never met broke into my shop.
“I saw 15 of my stolen phones.
“I am very surprised.
“But as it is now, I want my money back because those who bought the phones have been using them.”
In his confessional statement, the suspected burglar said he broke the shop’s locks and burglary with ‘Sanda’ (herdman’s stick), which he usesw to control cows.
According to him: “I saw the shop when I was taking a cow to Ojodu Berger.
“I broke into the shop around 1:30am.
“I took all the phones.
“I left the phones packs with accessories in order to make carrying the phones easier for me.
“I have four wives and five children.
“They are all based in Kano.
“I sold all the phones at Railway Line Market, Agege for N150,000.”
The buyer of the stolen phones, Yusuf Ibrahim, stated that he bought 15 phones with no accessories from Musa for N150,000.
Ibrahim said: “The phones are very expensive phones.
“Some of the phones cost nothing less than N75,000 each.
“I sold the phones to 15 people because I sell second hand goods.
“I regretted buying the phones from him.”
Amongst the 15 phones recovered so far are two Samsung Galaxy Cone (G355 H), two Samsung Galaxy Tab 4, Microsoft Lumia 430, Tecno Phantom A3, Infinix Joypad 8, two Infinix Note 2, three Infinix Hot, Infinix Hot Note, Nokia 225, 2 g Five Z.
One of the stolen phones users, who bought two (a Samsung Galaxy Tab and Samsung Galaxy Cone 2), both at N35,000, claimed that he was told the phones were England used phones and that he never knew that they were stolen phones.
He added that he noticed that the phones were new phones without its accessories but the seller, Yusuf Ibraheem, assured him that they were not stolen phones and that he would take responsibility if there is any problem.
The phone buyer said: “I was even tempted to buy for my wife but for the paucity of funds on me.
“I bought two and I had to get charger for the phones almost immediately.
“I was even thinking that they were fake China phones.
“It was when I started using them that I discovered they were genuine but stolen phones.
“A lot of those who saw them in my hands couldn’t even believe I got them at that price.”
Confirming the arrest of the suspects, the acting Police Public Relations Officer for the Lagos State Police Command, Damasus Ozoani, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, stated that the force is on its guard and poised to rid the state of criminals.
The suspects have been transferred to Special Anti-Robbery Squad for further investigations and prosecution.