Sunday, 5 January 2014

I charm people, take their money – Pick pocket

The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Rivers State has arrested 35-year old Wale Akinola, who specialized in picking pockets of passengers on board commercial buses in Port Harcourt. The suspect, who has confessed to the crime, told the police that he use charms to dispossess passengers of their money, without them knowing it.

Speaking with Sunday Sun, Akinola who was a furniture maker  said he made easy money from the crime and lived luxuriously until his arrest by the police.  “I spent over one year living in a guest house. I was enjoying myself as I made between N8,000 and  N10,000 daily. It was when the policemen came to raid the hotel that I was arrested. I have confessed to them that I am a professional in pick pocket. When they interrogated me, I told them that I didn’t use gun, but I only used charms,” he said.
Akinola said he abandoned his furniture business when he was issued a quit notice by the  landlord of his shop. “I had nothing doing and I had to look for what to survive on. It was one of my friends, Kingsley Okoro who taught me this pick pocket business. I followed him for sometime before I was able to master the business properly,” he added.
On how he operated without being caught initially, Akinola, a native of Ayede Local Government Area of Ekiti State, explained “I usually take a bus going to Rumuola or Eleme Junction. I would sit beside the passengers. I would strike when the bus enters a pothole. Then I would pull the money from their pockets as the bus swerved from side to side. The money would come out easily. Afterwards, I would alight at Aba Road in Port Harcourt.
“I wake up as early as 6:30am daily and then I go  from one bus to another. Sometimes, I  follow them to the last bus stop. Later, I would join another bus carrying passengers. My  prime  targets are  new comers to the city. It’s very easy to rob them. I don’t close until about 5:00pm”.
Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Joseph Mbu  told Sunday Sun that  they had received several complaints from the public about a particular gang  which specialized in picking pockets around that axis of the city.
“I had to order the commander of SARS, Supol Tunji Disu (CSP) with his team to pursue the case. They then swung into action and with top information, raided the hotel where the suspect had camped himself for a year. That was where he lodged after each day’s business,” Mbu said.
The CP assured that the suspect would soon be charged to a court of law.

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