It was a day of reckoning for four (4) young robbers on Sunday, September 1, 2019, as they were apprehended at a mechanic shop opposite Ikorodu General Hospital, where they had gone to steal motor parts and tools.
The suspects, who are between 16 and 17 years old, are specialists in motor parts robbery and had burgled several mechanic shops across Ikorodu. They are primary school and junior secondary school drop-outs and have all absconded from their various homes to form a robbery syndicate, after meeting at where they usually converge to sell scraps they gather on the streets.
According to the reports gathered, the young robbers had stormed the mechanic shop around 6:30a.m and stole various motor parts and working tools. They were about fleeing with the stolen items when they ran out of luck as one of the workshop owners, Mr. Akeem Jimoh, who had been on the lookout for the robbers that have been stealing from them, coincidentally arrived the scene.
Immediately they sighted him, they dropped the four bags containing the stolen items and fled but Mr. Jimoh gave them a hot chase with the help of an Okada rider and was able to apprehend three of the suspects while Onyabo men later arrested the fourth suspect. The four robbers are: John George, a 17 year old indigene of Ilaje in Igbokoda Local Government of Ondo State, Segun Bankole, a 16 year old indigene of Lagos Island in Lagos State, Segun Olaitan, a 16 year old Ikorodu indigene and Oluwadamilare Wasiu, a 17 year old indigene of Ikorodu.
Some of the items stolen and recovered from them were: shock absorber, springs, spring cramps, cyfon, steering rack, shafts, cylinder net, engine seat, pressing gum, valve body, break lining, linkage, lower arm, cylinder pipe, locking booth, sockets, spanners, hammers and other tools. The robbers, upon their arrest, were handed over to the Onyabo vigilante group, who paraded them before a large crowd at their headquarters along Ireshe road Ikorodu. Three of the robbers, except Segun Olaitan, also confessed at the parade to be a member of Eiye cult group.
While speaking with Oriwu Sun, one of the robbers, Segun Bankole, revealed that he had been caught several times and that he was banished from Itunmeko area of Ikorodu on one of those instances after stealing a mobile phone. He also revealed that he joined Eiye cult group in 2018 after some guys swooped on him and other boys while they were sleeping and forcefully initiated them. Segun also stated that it was John that asked them to follow him to carry out the robbery while they were picking scraps around Ayangbure palace.
“He asked us to follow him to the mechanic workshop opposite the General Hospital, where we broke into their safe to steal motor parts and tools. It was after we carried out the operation that we were chased and apprehended.”
He added that it was his first time of going to steal from the workshop and that they usually sold the stolen items to Hausa people. Segun further stated that he got into picking of scraps along with his gang members since his mother refused to sponsor him to learn another trade after he abandoned the cobbling work he was initially enrolled to learn.
In his own confession, John George, who was regarded as the leader of the gang, confessed to have robbed the same mechanic shop on three occasions as well as the Marcopollo mechanic shop at the Federal Low Cost Housing Estate, along Sabo – Itoikin road, alongside one of the robbers and another person. He stated that he had been into the business of picking scraps since 2014.
“I was arrested at the mechanic workshop opposite the General Hospital after we burgled the place. Three of us woke up together and set out to pick scraps. It was on our way to Ebute that we met this one (Damilola) on the road. We stole several motor parts, spanners, sockets, hammers and others in a safe. I have operated at the place three times this year. Aside the mechanic workshop.
I had also operated at Federal Low-Cost Housing Estate, Ikorodu with Damilola (one of the robbers) and Aloma, where we stole motor parts at the BRT buses mechanic workshops.”
When he was asked by our reporter whether he and his gang members were responsible for the recent robbery incident at Oriwu Sun office, which is located opposite the Macopollo mechanic shop at the Federal Low-Cost Housing Estate, he said they did not know anything about it nor know those responsible for it. Also, Segun Olaitan, in his own confession, explained that he met the three other robbers on their way to the mechanic shop and he joined them in burgling the place.
The fourth robber, Oluwadamilare Wasiu, while making his own confession, stated that he joined the gang this year after he left his brother’s shop, where he was training as a tailor machine repairer due to his maltreatment by his brother’s wife. “We went to the mechanic workshop, where we stole absorbers, spanners and other items that are being displayed before us before.
We dropped the stolen items and took to our heels when we sighted the shop owner but we were pursued with motorbike and apprehended. It was after the arrest of three of us that I took them (Onyabo men) to where they later arrested John. It was my first time of stealing at the mechanic shop but I had been to the mechanic shop at Low-Cost several times to steal. We usually steal at the place anytime we were passing through and we discovered that motor parts were available.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Akeem Jimoh, one of the owners of the burgled workshop, in a brief interview with Oriwu Sun, said that he and other people working in the workshop had been on the look-out for the robbers for a very long time due to their frequent operations in the workshop, which according to him, have rendered them greatly indebted to many of their customers, whose vehicles parts were stolen by the robbers.
“We had been on the look-out for these criminals, who had been stealing parts of the vehicles brought to our workshop by customers for repairs. They had made us indebted to many customers,” he alleged. “Just last week, one of these robbers (pointing to John) was pursued after robbing us but he managed to escape.”
Another mechanical engineer at the workshop, Mr. Adeola, stated that the robbers have been stealing car parts and their working tools for several years. He explained that the persistent robbery incident at the workshop led them to erroneously send away their security man for incompetency.
“At a point, we had to send our security man away because we could not afford to continue paying him huge sum of money on monthly basis and yet, we still lost our properties to robbers. It was later that we discovered that those that usually came around to steal from our workshop came around 6:30a.m after the night guard had closed around 6:00am.”