By Ndubuisi Michaels
Operatives of Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Lagos State Police Command have arrested a suspected member of a five-man gang that specializes in stealing tricycle, popularly known as ‘Keke Napep’, and motorcycles in the Lagos metropolis.
The suspect, Ekene Chukwuan, 21 years old, was arrested in the early hours of Thursday after he and four other members of his gang broke into an apartment at 49, Falana Street, Iyana-Ejigbo Lagos, and carted away one tricycle and one motorcycle at around 2:00 am.
Ekene, native of Enugu State, told the police during interrogation about how he was introduced into motorcycle and tricycle stealing business by his mentor, named ‘Alhaji’.
“I relocated from Amukoko to Ijora in search of greener pasture because I was told there is money in Ijora and Mushin. I work as a truck pusher at Ojuade market where I helped people convey their goods from one location to another before Alhaji told me to stop the work for better one.
“Alhaji told me he was called for a work by one ‘Ajona’ and asked me if I will like to join in the job, promising me a better pay and less stress. I accepted Alhaji’s idea but didn’t know we are going for stealing,” he added.
“On getting to Ejigbo, Ajona, who is the leader, told us to stay in a place till night falls before entering into the apartment where we unchained a motorcycle and a tricycle.
“We put the motorcycle inside the tricycle while Ajona drove with two others in the tricycle.
“We were on our way when we met RRS men who stopped us but we refused to stop. So they (RRS) chased us. We were at full speed trying to escape when we crashed before taking to our heels, but the police caught me,” he confessed.
Ekene in his statement to the Police, claimed that: “we sell stolen Keke Napep between N75,000 to N80,000, while motorcycles are sold between N30,000 to N40,000.”
The owner of the motorcycle, Mr. Nduka Oyekachi Innocent, who was alerted of the theft and invited to RRS Office, said “I parked my tricycle in my compound at 49, Falana Street, Iyana-Ejigbo, and went to bed.
“I woke up the following morning only to discover that the Keke was missing. I searched everywhere, including the drainages because I was so much devastated and worried about the debt and how to take care of my family. “Immediately, I went to Ejigbo Police Station to report the incident before I was informed later that RRS officers have arrested one of the suspected thieves.”
Nduka, 31, noted that he wept like a baby on discovering that his Keke was missing because he got it on a “hire-purchase” basis from a businessman. He was to repay the sum of N1,000,000 within a period of one and half years according to the hire-purchase agreement he signed.
He explained further that the businessman gave him the Keke in February 2017 and had repaid N220,000 out the N1,000,000.
Recovered from the suspect were iron cutter, tricycle and motorcycle.
The suspect has been transferred to the Lagos Police State Criminal Investigation Department for further investigation.