The suspect; Kunle Afolabi, 31, an ex – convict from Oye – Ekiti was arrested by the operatives around 4:00 a.m. on Friday in CMS after escaping from Broad Street, Lagos Island where he had gone to vandalise a Toyota Corrolla belonging to a Deacon of First Baptist Church, Broad Street, Lagos.
Found in his possession as at the time of arrest were two brainboxes of Toyota Corrolla and four winding buttons. The suspect confessed to have removed them from the Deacon’s vehicle and another Corrolla in the neighbourhood.
The suspect is his statement to investigators disclosed that he had vandalised up to 57 cars since he started stealing Toyota car parts.
‘I was introduced into the business of stealing vehicle parts by Yinka, a friend living in Cole Street, Oyingbo, Lagos in 2014. Together, we stole brainboxes of many cars, 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 my solo effort. I majored in brainboxes of Corrolla and Hilux only, maybe Toyota buses occasionally’, he stated.
He explained further, ‘the focus on Toyota is because there is a ready buyer. Spare part sellers are ever ready to buy from you. I sell Corolla brainboxes for N40,000 and Hilux, around N70,000. I go for operations on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays. The areas I operate are Ikoyi, Lagos Island and Victoria Island.
Because I wanted to operate on the Island that night, I told my wife that I was going to work. She knows I am into oil bunkering around Takwa Bay. About a year ago, the police forced me to abandon oil bunkering for car parts theft.’
‘I surveyed the Broad Street around 9:00 p.m. on Thursday to see any vehicle I would remove its brainbox and winding buttons. I had learnt to be very cautious now because I have been imprisoned thrice for sundry offences bothering on stealing.
I was on the Island till 3:00 a.m. when I sneaked into Broad Street for operation on Friday. Before getting there, I had removed the brainbox of a Toyota Corrolla in the adjoining street.
I have removed the brainbox and all the winding buttons in the car when a guard spotted me. He raised the alarm which drew the attention of Rapid Response Squad officers around. I was chased and arrested,’ he explained.
He added ‘I sell the stolen items to a vehicle part dealer, Senior in Coconut area of Ajegunle. Most times, I take the parts to him in Layode Street, Ajegunle or meet him in his shop’.
Confirming the development, Police PRO, ASP Olarinde Famous Cole stated that investigations were still on to arrest more suspects.
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