Operatives of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Lagos State Police Command have arrested two suspected burglars who specialise in breaking into warehouses at the Alaba International Market carting away goods which were thereafter sold at give away prices.
One of the suspects blamed his involvement in the crime on the closure of Nigeria’s land borders by the Federal Government.
Various stolen goods including 43 sets of 32 inches plasma LG television sets and a bag containing beads were recovered from the duo identified as Onyebuchi Chidozie (39) and Ifeanyi Odo (42).
Odo, who claimed to be a cross-border trader, said, “Before now, I used to go to Ghana to buy body cream and soap until the government shut the border. At a point, I could not feed my family. I decided to go to Alaba International to hustle. In the process, I saw some truck pushers who were conveying goods from warehouses to the respective owner’s stores, where they are displayed for sale. They called us to assist them to steal the goods and look for buyers.
“Some of our connivers are guards who man these warehouses. We paid them N150,000 part-payment for the 43 sets of LG television, with a promise to pay them N250,000 after selling them.”
On his part, Chidozie, who hails from Ndemili, Anambra State, said, “We paid the guard N500,000 for the stolen goods and sold them at N800,000. In the first operation, I was given 15 cartoons to sell. At times, they would give us the goods with an instruction to keep them for as long as two months before selling them, that is, if the owners did not notice the disappearance. Most times, owners may lose count of the goods that go in and come out of their warehouses.
“We don’t go to these warehouses at night. We operate in the broad daylight. We usually went to the warehouses with housebreaking implements to break the locks. Nobody suspected us, as one would think that the owner of the warehouse had misplaced the keys which were usually the case. Also, the presence of the guards while the destruction of the lock is ongoing, would never give us away.”
Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command, Hakeem Odumosu, who confirmed the arrest, said investigation on the matter was still ongoing.
He assured that the suspects would be charged to court as soon detectives conclude the investigation.