The suspect whose name was given as Femi Solomon, from Ogun State was arrested last Thursday by the operatives in Iyana Oworo area of the state, after stealing a Samsung phone from a commuter in a bus stampede at the bus stop.
The suspect who claimed to be a mechanic said he joined the pick-pocketing gang in Obalende, where he was ushering people to buy used cloth popularly called “Okrika”.
He said one of his customers, Ismaila, 50, “introduced him to pick-pocketing, noting that he noticed he was coming to Obalende finely dressed with so much money.
“I told him I was looking for better job opportunity, and he assured me that he was going to assist me with one and when he was going to introduced me to one, he said I should be following him, while I learnt from him.
“I was following from behind and monitoring what he was doing. We were moving from one bus stops in Lagos to the other from morning till evening. He was stealing phones and wallets from passengers inside bus and at bus stops.
“Throughout the six months I followed him, we could pick 6 to 8 phones and wallets from people without them knowing. He kept everything to himself, but at the end of the day, he would give me between N4,000 to N6,000 depending on his wish.”
Solomon further disclosed that on August 2016, he decided to be a boss of his own but wasn’t bold enough to pickpocket during the day.
“Besides, I was still a “green horn” and inexperienced, so I devised to go out from evening since nobody pickpocket at night.
“I start operation at 6:00 p.m and I end at 9:00 p.m. My target is between 4 to 5 mobile phones in a day. Once I am able to hit that figure, I stop operation and I retire. I sell phones to a friend based in Lagos Island.
“In my rough estimation, I would have stolen 1,200 phones both by standing in Lagos bus stops and inside commercial buses.”
The suspect who said he usually operate in designated areas like Ajegunle, Iyana Oworo to Ketu, Ketu to Ojota and Oshodi to Mile 2, added that he only operate on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.
He said he also operates at night parties as well as places where there are overnight events.
The police officers recovered four mobile phones from the suspect after he was arrested.
The suspect has been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID for further investigations.