A robbery suspect, Adeleke Rasaq, said the harsh economic condition in the country had affected their operations, adding that there was no money in the country.
Rasak was arrested along with an accomplice, Lucky John, on Sunday, by operatives of the Rapid Response Squad of the Lagos State Police Command in the Abule Egba area of the state.
The suspects were said to have been terrorising residents of Abule Egba, Agege, Fagba and Egbeda areas of the state before they met their Waterloo.
Rasak, who resigned as a factory worker, confessed to the police that he became a ‘one –chance’ robber to survive.
He said, “John and I lived in Badagry. Every day, we go to Abule Egba, Agege, Fagba, Egbeda to operate. As soon as we make enough money, we retire for the day. I teamed up with John because picking people’s pockets is not easy. We had to team up to make more money to survive.
“We don’t make much money like before. The present economic condition in the country has greatly affected ‘one-chance’ robbery; everywhere is dry. Since Monday, we have been sharing N20,000, N30,000 and N40,000. Before, when I operate alone, I could make close to N150,000. Now, things are difficult.”
Rasak said he resigned from the factory where he worked after he noticed that his friends in the Ajegunle area were living large.
“It has been six years since I joined this gang. We don’t call it robbery, we call it hustling,” he added.
Meanwhile, the RRS operatives also smashed another syndicate, which robbed two passengers in the Gbagada area of the state.
Members of the gang, Ubuke Michael, 26, and 24-year-old Obinna Okoro, were reportedly arrested after their operational bus, with number plate FST 890 XM, had picked up the two passengers going to the Alaba International Market and Ladipo Spare Part Market to buy goods.
Ubuke, the leader of the gang, had allegedly invited a bus driver and a conductor to join the gang for the operation.
He said, “The driver and the conductor are familiar with the operation. I have so many commercial buses that I call for operations. I call them to join me at a particular location.
“The driver and the conductor would do their normal work, while we collect belongings of the passengers before dropping them off. The two passengers in the bus were our victims that day.
“One of them came out of a bank before boarding our bus, while we noticed that the other had bulging pockets. We were about to collect their belongings when we were arrested. We don’t normally carry more than two passengers during operations. And whatever money we make, we share with the driver and the conductor; but our share is usually more.”
One of the victims, Boniface Anusionwu, said he had gone to withdraw some money from the bank for his business and house rent when he boarded the vehicle of the suspects.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, confirmed the arrests.
She added that the suspects would be charged to court when investigations were completed.