A 24-year old man who was apprehended by operatives of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) for allegedly stealing a Black SAAB Saloon Car, belonging to his helper said he stole the car because his helper forgot his birthday.
He also said if given another chance, he would steal the car with registration number, AAA 581 CG again as he was obsessed with it.
The suspect, Richard Akinwale, was trailed from Iju road, Fagba area, for about five hours by the RRS officers before he was eventually nabbed along Wempco road, Agindigbi area of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.
Akinwale, a drop-out from Northern American University in Cotonou, Benin Republic, gained entrance into the living room of his victim, Adelabu Tolani, through the ceiling to pick the car keys and carted away the vehicle along with other valuables.
While arriving at the RRS’s headquarters, the suspect, who owned up to the crime, added that he stole the car and other valuables of his helper deliberately to punish him for forgetting his birthday.
The suspect disclosed that his victim, Adelabu had been the sole financier of his university education, adding that he picked him up when everybody rejected him.
“I was accommodated into the Adelabu’s home about five years ago. I was able to be part of the Adelabus being friend to his wife’s brother right from the Church camp.
Living with him and his family was a privilege for me.
“He sponsored my educational career before I dropped out from the institution at final year. His wife was also very supportive. But I deliberately committed the offence because they asked me to move out of their house,” he said.
It was gathered that the suspect who had in the past stole the same vehicle along with other personal effects of the Adelabus pleaded for mercy from the car’s owner before the owner could secure his release at the Ogonbo Police Division in Ajah area, where the case was initially reported.
“This was my second time of stealing the car. The first time was on my birthday on July 8th, 2016. I took the car far away from their sight. I wanted to part ways with them with the car to start a new life on my own. I think I deserve the car because I had laboured for them for long time, and they can’t just eject me out of that house like that. They must pay me back with that car,” he added.
The owner of the stolen vehicle, Adelabu said that he regretted lending out helping hands to the suspect by accommodating him under his roof.
“In fact, I am regretting that I rendered help to him. I don’t know any of his relatives. It was my brother in-law who brought him from a church camp. Then, I noticed that he needed accommodation and financial support, I kindly offered him without asking him to bring any of his relatives even his parents to me.
“He used to be very jovial and kind person before he left for his university education in Benin Republic, but I discovered immediately after he returned to the country that his life style suddenly changed for the worse.
“When I noticed this, I talked to him as a father and advised him to have a change of mind. While talking to him, he opened up that he was no longer interested in going back to the institution, and I asked him why, he never told me the reason till now,” he explained.
The victim stated that he sent him packing out of his house because he might be a bad influence on his children, “I sent him out because I don’t want him to corrupt the good character of my children because they are grown-ups too’, he added.
According to him, “When he stole the car for the first time, I reported the case to a nearby police station at Ogonbo in Ajah. The policemen arrested him the second day and he was detained for some days. After much pleading from him, I had to beg the DPO to release him that it was a family affair. I thought he would have a change of mind.
To my surprise, after two days, he went back to my house to steal the car again.
“This time around, I went to RRS’ office to report him. We laid siege for him around Iju in Agege, where we later apprehend him in Ikeja.”
While confirming the arrest, the Police Public Relation Officers (PPRO), Superintendent of Police, SP Dolapo Badmus, said that all hands were on deck to rid the state of all nefarious activities.