By Our Correspondent
A suspected pickpocket, Idowu Nojeem, 32, had his cup full on Thursday as the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of Lagos State Police Command arrested him.
The suspect was arrested for allegedly stealing the mobile telephone, a Tecno Y5 handset of a plain cloth operative of the Squad and then assaulting him for demanding that the stolen hand set be returned.
It was gathered that the operative, identified as Sergeant Oladipo Adetumbi, was on a surveillance mission around Ikeja Under Bridge, when the incident happened.
The suspect was said to have rained several blows on the face of the Police Sergeant for demanding for his phone and also trying to restrict him.
An eye witness who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “I was with the Policeman when the suspect forcefully removed the phone from the operative’s front pocket. The Policeman was on a surveillance mission in the area but was not in uniform. I saw a man moving towards the sergeant. As he moved closer to him, he stylishly covered his face with a newspaper, and removed the phone from his pocket.
“We were all shocked that someone could have such an effrontery to rob while many passers-by were moving. Immediately the policeman suspected that his phone had been removed, he pulled the suspect by his shirt but the suspect said he should forget the phone that it’s gone. He started beating the policeman before we could separate them.”
The witness said that despite the beatings, the Police Sergeant held unto the suspect until the traffic warden and other policemen around Ikeja Under Bridge stepped in and separated them.
It was gathered that it was then that the operative dragged the suspect to the place where other RRS operatives were stationed.
It however turned double trouble for the suspect when one Adoh Nneka, a lady who he and his gang had earlier robbed of two phones and other valuables identified him.
Nneka said she was waiting to board a bus from Ikeja to Ogba “when I sighted three guys including the suspect, walking beside me. The suspect was intermittently drawing my bag from behind but I held my bag tight with me. But I didn’t know he has used a razor blade to cut the bag and took my phones.
“I turned and checked my bag, my phones were gone. One passerby, pointed at him for stealing my phone. I saw the two phones with him from afar but I was too afraid to confront him,” she said.
She added that she was still within the vicinity of the Under Bridge Bus stop contemplating what to do when she saw the crowd gathered at the bridge.
“they were looking at somebody. When I moved closer to know what was going on, I saw the same man (the suspect) being handcuffed by the police for stealing an RRS operative’s phone. Then, I have the guts to explain to the police that he had earlier stolen my two phones”.
Dolapo Badmus, the Lagos State Police Command Public Relations Officer (PRO) confirmed the incident and arrest of the suspect.
Badmus, a Superintendent of Police (SP) said that efforts are ongoing to arrest the other members of the syndicate. She added that the suspect in their custody has been charged to court.