The yuletide season is quite around the corner and desperate measures have been devised by dare-devil armed robbers to rob their victims of their valuables in some parts of Lagos State.It was learnt that the men of the under world now disguise as beggars to snatch valuables from their unsuspecting victims. Their targets are often lone occupants of posh and exotic cars, they dispose them of their most expensive items ranging from laptops, phones, money and jeweleries.The hoodlums, who usually operate between the hours of 5-9pm are always armed to teeth with dangerous weapons such as knives and shotguns (carefully stuck in their dresses).
It was also gathered that some of them had formed the habit of disguising as a handicapped and beggars to deceive their prey and rob them in the process.
Areas in Lagos state that are well known for such ugly activities are Mile Two Bridge; Coconut and Apapa, all on Oshodi-Apapa Expressway.
Recalling, how he escaped death by the whiskers in the hands of beggars- turned armed robbers, Mr. Lucky Uduikhue, a managing director of an information and computer technology firm said he was robbed three times within one month in the same Oshodi-Apapa area.
Disclosing their modus operandi, Uduikhue said the robbers usually threaten their victims saying , ‘I need N5, 000. If you respect yourself, bring the money. They will point gun at you.’
And failure to grant their request would incur their wrath; they would either vandalism the car of the victim or physically attack their target leaving him or her with injuries.
“For many months now, motorists who drive through Mile 2 lose valuable items to robbers. As from 5pm, they have become kings of the road. Funny, they pretend as people begging for money but they end up robbing motorists of their valuables.
If one fails to give them money, they would break one’s side screen and take whatever they lay their hands on and flee.
This is a daily occurrence starting from Auto Wharf to Mile 2 Bridge up to Mile 2/Oshodi junction. Their target is always on big money, phones and laptops and they focus on big cars and vehicles whose drivers are alone. I have been a victim several times.
I have reported several times to the policemen on duty at the Mile 2 bridge and have also called 112 police emergency number for the same complaint with both the police and the receiver of the police emergency number promising to take urgent action, yet nothing seems to have been done as the hoodlums are still operating uncaught and unhindered.”
Another motorist, Jonah Okorie, who was once a victim of robbery attack on the same route expressed his anger over the nonchalant attitude of some policemen at the checkpoint who were busy arresting okada riders while he was being robbed and they never bothered about what was happening to him.
Yet another victim of the trending robbery acts, who gave her name as Blessing narrated how she was dispossessed of her laptop, BlackBerry and telephone sets.
“I can never forget that fateful day. It was early October. I was going to Apapa. At Mile 2, there was a hold-up. One man, dressed like a beggar came and begged me for money.
I told him I did not have. I thought he understood me. Before I could move further, he brought a hammer and hit my side door. In the process, he made away with my laptops and other valuables. In fact, my entire day was disorganised because I lost a lot of data with the laptop,” she said.
However, when contacted, the Lagos State Police Public Relation Officer, Ngozi Braide, claimed that the police had not received such complaints.
“We are not aware of that. Find out if the victims actually reported to the police and the station. All the same, the information is noted,” she said.