Four young boys that specialize in stealing car parts at mechanic workshops in Ikorodu were apprehended early in the early hours of Sunday, September 1,2019.
They were caught at a mechanic workshop opposite General Hospital in Ikorodu after they had stolen various motor parts and tools and were about fleeing the scene.
The four suspects, while speaking with THE IMPACT at the headquarters of the Onyabo Vigilance Group in Ikorodu, said that they are primary school and junior secondary schools dropouts, while three of them belong to Eiye cult group.
They have all absconded from their various homes and met at where they usually converge to sell scraps they gather on the streets.
John Judge, a 17 year old indigene of Ilaje in Gbokoda Local Government of Ondo State , dropped out of school in Junior Secondary School (JSS) One at Ipakodo Secondary School and currently lives at 22, Ayegbami Street, Ogolonto in Ikorodu West Local Council Development Area (LCDA). He is a confessed member of Eiye cult group.
Segun Bankole , 16 year old , is from Isale Eko on Lagos Island while his mother hails from Ikorodu. He lives at 12, Soyiga lane, Ladega in Ikorodu. He stopped schooling after dropping out of Primary 6 at Methodist Primary School, Ikorodu. He was enrolled to learn cobbling but abandoned the trade two years ago and opted to pick scraps which he sells to make ends meet.
While speaking with THE IMPACT , he revealed that he has been caught stealing several times and that he was banished from Itumeko area of Ikorodu on one of those instances after stolen mobile phone.
He revealed that he joined Eiye cult group in 2018 after some guys rounded him and other boys up where they were sleeping and forcefully initiated them.
Another suspect, Segun Olaitan, a 16 year old Ikorodu indigene, dropped out of the Jamatul Islamiyah Primary School, Ikorodu, in Primary 6. He was later enrolled to learn aluminum work but absconded without completing the training. He lives at 5, Dada Street, Itunpate, Ikorodu. Unlike his gang members, he does not belong to any cult group.
The fourth suspect, Oluwadamilare Wasiu, a 17 year old indigene of Ikorodu , stopped schooling in 2017 while in JSS 2.
After dropping out of school, he was enrolled to learn a trade as a tailor machine repairer but , like his cohorts, abandoned the work and started picking scraps early this year. He also joined Eiye cult group same year.
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, suckets, spanners hammers and other tools.
THE IMPACT gathered that one of the workshop owners, Mr Akeem Jimoh, who has been on the lookout for robbers who have been stealing from them, arrived the workshop at the time the suspects were about absconding with the stolen items but when they sighted him, they immediately dropped the four bags containing the stolen items and fled.
Speaking with our reporter, Mr Jimoh stated that he went on the trail of the thieves with the help of an okada rider and was able to apprehend three of the suspects while Onyabo men later apprehended the fourth suspect .
“We have been on the lookout for these criminals who have 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 suspects (pointing to John) was pursued after robbing us but he managed to escaped.
Another mechanical engineer at the workshop, Mr Adeola Olumade, also speaking with THE IMPACT , stated that the suspects have been stealing car parts and other tools from them for several years.
He explained that the persistent robbery incident at the workshop led them to send away their security man for incompetence.
“At a point, we had to send away our security man because we could not afford to continue paying him huge sum of money on monthly basis and yet , still lose our properties to robbers.
“It was later that we discovered that those that usually come around to steal from our workshop come around 6.30 am after the guard might have closed around 6.00 am”.
The leader of the gang, John, aside confessing to have robbed the same mechanic workshop three times, also confessed that he had also robbed the Marccopollo mechanic workshop at Low-cost Housing state, along Sabo-Itamaga road alongside one of the suspects and another person.
He stated that he has been into the business of picking scraps since 2014.
“I was arrested at 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 Low-cost with Damilola (one of the suspects) and Aloma where we stole motor parts at the BRT buses mechanic workshop”.
Bankole , in his own confession, stated that it was John that asked them to follow him while they were picking cans 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 pats and tools.
“It was after we carried out the operation that we were swooped upon and apprehended”.
Segun , who stated that it was his first time of going to steal from the workshop, told our reporter that they usually sell such items to Hausa people.
He told our reporter that he got into picking of scraps with others after his mother refused sponsoring him to learn another trade.
Olaitan, who claimed that he’s been staying with his mother after her separation from his father, told our reporter that he met the three other suspects on the way to the mechanic workshop and joined them in looting place.
In his statement, Oluwadamilare stated that he stopped going to school on the directive of his guardian whom he was staying with after his mother’s death, and added that he left his brother’s shop where he was training as a tailor machine repairer on account of maltreatment by his brother’s wife.
The suspect , who stated that he joined the trade this year, also confessed that: “We went to the mechanic workshop where we stole absorbers, spanners and others items that are being displayed before us before we were caught.
“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 workshop but I had been to the mechanic workshop at Low-cost severally to also steal. We usually steal at the place anytime we are passing through and we discovered that motor parts were available”.
Some of the members of the suspects’ families who were at the Onyabo office during their parade were seen crying.
Meanwhile, an official of the community security outfit told our reporter that the suspects would be handed over to the police after concluding their investigations on the matter.