A suspect, Bashir Adamu, who was arrested for allegedly assaulting motorists and snatching phones and handbags, on Tuesday said his targets were expatriates who worshipped at the national mosque, Abuja.
Bashir Adamu, 27 years, arrested with two others, confessed to The Punch on Tuesday, January 30, that he operated on Fridays at Juma’at prayers.
He added that he had stolen phones at the national mosque twice before he was apprehended by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) police officials.
Adamu claimed that he had stolen only two phones, adding that the first handset was recovered by its owner, while the police retrieved the second stolen phone.
But the police reported that the suspect was arrested about a fortnight ago for snatching a phone at the mosque, adding that he was arraigned and granted bail before he was re-arrested for a similar offence Friday, January 26.
Adamu, who said that he was just released on bail, said: “I only target oyinbo people (expatriates) who come to the National Mosque to pray on Fridays.
“Sometimes, they give alms and while they are doing that, I steal their phones or bags from their car and run. I use the money to feed.”
Alex Chidubem, 30 years, another suspect was arrested after allegedly stabbing a technician, Yusuf Awala, from whom he had allegedly stolen a phone.Awala, who sustained knife injuries in the left arm, explained that Chidubem attacked him because he (Awala) sighted him where he hid near the National Mosque.
Awala reported: “He (Chidubem) tried to stab me in the stomach, but I blocked him and he stabbed me in the arm.”
However, Chidubem denied the allegation by stating that he was on the way to see someone who had promised to get him a job as a car wash attendant when he was arrested.
He stated: “I was on my way to see the person who promised me a job when a policeman stopped me around the mosque and demanded my identity card. When I could not provide any, he arrested me.”
An Abuja resident, Rodney Osaji, who was instrumental to Chidubem’s arrest, said when he saw his suspicious movement, he concluded that he was a criminal.
He said that he (Osaji)quickly alighted from the car and held him. He added: “ I asked a taxi driver to get the police and when they arrested him, his victims identified him as a serial phone and bag snatcher.”
The third suspect, Ibrahim Mohammed, 22, explained that he had stolen two phones and had been arrested three times for the same crime.
Anjuguri Manzah, the FCT police spokesman, said the suspects would be in court at the end of investigations.