Months of unhindered vandalism of vehicles by an ex-convict, Kunle Afolabi, came to an end on Friday when he was arrested by operatives of the Rapid Response Squad, Lagos State Police Command.
The 31-year-old suspect was reportedly apprehended at CMS, Lagos Island, after he had vandalised a Toyota Corrolla on Broad Street.
It was learnt that the car belonged to a deacon of First Baptist Church on the street.
Two brainboxes of Toyota vehicles and four winding buttons were said to have been recovered from him.
The police said the native of Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State, confessed to removing the auto parts from the deacon’s car and another Corrolla in the neighbourhood.
“He also confessed to participating in the vandalism of over 57 cars in Lagos. He is an ex-convict; he was arrested by the RRS men around 4am on Friday in CMS after escaping from Broad Street, Lagos Island, where he had vandalised a car,” the police added.
The suspect, in his statement, reportedly disclosed that he was initially into illegal oil bunkering, before he took to car theft in 2014.
He said, “I was introduced into stealing of vehicle parts by Yinka, a friend living on Cole Street, Oyingbo, Lagos, in 2014. Together, we stole brainboxes of many vehicles, including Toyota and Lexus. Our areas of operations were Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Ajah and Lagos Island. We operated thrice weekly.
“Having mastered the act, I started operating alone. I majored in brainboxes of (Toyota) Corrolla and Hilux.”
The suspect explained further that he sold brainboxes of Toyota Corolla N40,000 each while those of Hilux went for N70,000 each.
He stated that buyers were readily available for the stolen items.
He said, “I usually go for operations on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays. Because I wanted to operate on the Lagos Island that night (Friday), I told my wife that I was going to work. She knows I am into illegal oil bunkering around Takwa Bay.
“About a year ago, the police forced me to abandon it for stealing car parts. I surveyed Broad Street around 9pm on Thursday to see any vehicle I could remove its brainbox. When it was 3am, I sneaked into Broad Street for operation. Before getting there, I had removed the brainbox of a Toyota Corrolla parked on the adjoining street.
“I had removed the brainbox and all the winding buttons in the (deacon’s) car when a guard spotted me. He raised the alarm which drew the attention of the Rapid Response Squad officers around. I was chased and arrested.
“I sell the stolen items to a vehicle parts dealer, called Senior, in the Coconut area of Ajegunle.”
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole, confirmed the arrest, adding that efforts were ongoing to apprehend more suspects.
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