An Armed robbery suspect arrested by the operatives of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Lagos State Police Command, has disclosed that he and about 60 other teenage thieves live under the bridge at Oshodi survive daily through stealing and dispossessing passers-by of their phones and other valuables.
According to a Guardian report, The suspect, Yusuph Ahmed, 19, from Offa, Kwara State, made this known to interrogators at the RRS headquarters in Alausa, Ikeja at the weekend.
Ahmed, who was arrested in Oshodi on Friday after dispossessing a passenger of his phone, stated that he along with other teenagers sleep under the bridge and that it was from there they eked out a living through stealing of phones and robbing passers-by of their valuables.
The arrested suspect, who had been sleeping under Oshodi Bridge since he was 13, six years ago, stressed that even though he did not go out all the time with those who robbed among them, he knew all of them.
“I sleep in Oshodi Under Bridge. We are over 60 teenagers sleeping there. The adults sleep at Ori-Pako. I was 13 years old when I started sleeping there. I keep my clothes there,” he said.
He added: “I sleep around 8:00p.m. or 9:00p.m. There are some of us who do not sleep at all. They are the ones that alert us whenever the police are around. There are equally some who do not sleep because they go from one place to the other in Oshodi to rob. They rob late at night and very early in the morning.
“After the death of my mother, my father abandoned us. He stopped taking care of us leaving us to fend for ourselves. Even the school, he stopped paying the monthly N600. I had to resort to packing granite to pay the monthly N600 for school fee.
“At a point, I couldn’t cope with the fee. I was just 12. I dropped out and decided to run to Lagos. Since then, Oshodi Under Bridge has been my home. Any phone I stole, I would sell to Mohammed or Kudus. They are beggars in Oshodi. They buy most of the stolen phones from us,” the teenager added.
However, the stolen phone, a Tecno Y6, was recovered from Ahmed’s brother.
The second suspect, Yusuph Agbaje, 25, from Oyo State, was arrested in Agege for stealing a Blackberry Curve from a commuter.
Responding to the development, the State Police Public Relations Officer, Superintendent of Police, Dolapo Badmos, said the police would leave nothing to chance in order to get rid of criminal elements within the state. She urged parents to monitor the activities of their wards.
The suspects have been transferred to the Lagos State Task-force on Environment for prosecution.