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Superwoman nails bag snatchers in Lagos

A WOMAN in Lagos has shown two bag snatchers the stuff she is made of, during an encounter at Isheri-Olowora area of the state.

Even though Miss. Patience Friday knew she had just N500 and a handset in the handbag, she had fought furiously like a lioness, defending her cub, to keep possession of it.

When the criminals saw how she fought tooth and nail to keep the handbag, they quickly changed their minds about snatching the bag. They decided the bag was not worth the trouble. But as they had made up their minds to leave, the lady had also made up her mind to teach them a lesson.

She dragged one of the suspects off their motorcycle. Then she screamed, kicked and scratched until help came. One of the men escaped, while the one dragged down by Miss Friday was arrested. Detectives later used the arrested suspect, to catch the one that fled.

They were identified as Akinsola Oladipupo, 25, and Abiodun Hassan,29. They were accused of using motorbike, to snatch handbags.

Police spokesman, Frank Mba, said the suspects used to mount motorbike in the early hours and target females that were going to work or returning from night shifts.

He added: “These suspects were allegedly involved in series of attacks on females. They target females, snatch their handbags while on motorbikes and rode off. Generally, among members of the criminal world, children and women are regarded as vulnerable. These criminals believe that women or children can be attacked with no resistance. But the recent encounter with a female victim is what actually led them into police net. Our determination to keep the state crime free remain irrevocable particularly as we are now in the ‘ember months.’We continue to engage in our aggressive patrol, aggressive crime fighting to make the state a peaceful one.”

The Nigerian Compass gathered that the suspects were arrested during their operation at Olowora Akere junction.

Oladipupo who claimed to be married with three wives, said he was a bricklayer.

According to him, he did not know what compelled him to take to handbag snatching.

He said: “Ah, I’m finished today! I don’t know what led me into this mess. I used to work as a bricklayer before, but money was not forthcoming in the work. The money I was earning from the bricklayer work, could not cater for me and my family.”

When asked how he and his partner had been operating, he said: “After targeting a female victim we wanted to attack, we’ll snatch her bag and ride off immediately!”

Explaining how they were arrested, Oladipupo said: “When we saw her, the time was about 5:30 a.m. We had already passed her, but rode back again. I targeted her bag and attempted to forcefully snatch it from her. But she refused to let go. I fell off the motorbike, while she continued to hold onto the bag. She fell down, while I fell on her. She held me tight and started calling for help. Some men in the area came around. They rescued her and started beating me mercilessly.”

Oladipupo told the Nigerian Compass that until his arrest, he had never been involved in any crime, adding: “But on that fateful day, immediately I woke up, the evil thought came into mind. I told my friend (Hassan) that has a motorcycle about the idea that had been running through my mind. He agreed to work with me.’’

Narrating his own side of the story, Hassan said he committed the crime because of the desperate need for money, to offset a debt.

He complained that he bought a motorbike from a man, Akeem, on hire purchase and had not finished paying for it, when it was stolen.

“After a few months of working with the motorcycle, which I collected on hire purchase, I fell sick. Since I was sick, I could not work and the motorbike was just there. I gave the motorcycle to one of my friends to use it.

Few days later, he came to tell me that the motorcycle had been stolen. I felt so bad, especially when I remembered that I had not finished paying Akeem.

“I tried to explain my predicament to Akeem, but he refused to understand. He took me to the police station, where I was asked to write an undertaken on how I was going to pay back the money within a specific time. It was the ultimatum given to me that prompted me to commit the crime. I have nobody to help me. Life can be tough when you don’t have a helper!”

Elojo Adams, one of those attacked on that day, said: “I was attacked around 6:30a.m, when I was on my way to buy Goods at Cotonou. The two men, on motorbike, suddenly stopped beside me. They initially pretended as if they wanted to ask me for direction, then one of them said: ‘Your life or your money,’ they snatched my bag and rode away. My handbag contained my phone, and N120,000, which I was going to use to buy Goods at Cotonou.

“I went to the house of my friend who gave me the money on loan, to explain the latest problem but she was not at home.

“When I got home, my brother called me that the people who snatched my bag had been arrested and were then at Isheri Police Station. When I got to the station, it was only my phone that I saw with them. When asked about the money inside the bag they said they didn’t see anything inside the bags.’’

By Yomi Ajiboye

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Comment by Samuel Apewalen on September 30, 2010 at 1:46am
Judgment day for them.

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