A suspected member of a two-man robbery gang has told investigators how they stole $10,000, £5,000, N100,000, and a box of jewellery from an 81-year-old woman in Surulere, the Lagos State Police said in a statement on Sunday.
Segun Taiwo was arrested by operatives of the Rapid Response Squad after robbing the octogenarian at her home in Oduduwa Street, Itire, at about 8 p.m.
Mr. Taiwo’s accomplice, a herbalist and the mastermind of the robbery, is now at large, according to the police.
The police said Mr. Taiwo confessed to the crime at the RRS headquarters in Lagos, saying he was only invited into the robbery by the herbalist, simply identified as Demola, who promised to give him 50 percent from the loot.
“He was treating one of the woman’s daughter (name withheld) who had sore in her right foot,” the police quoted Mr. Taiwo as saying.
“Whenever the lady visited him for treatment, he was always stylishly collecting information about her mother from her.”
According to Mr. Taiwo, unknowingly to the lady, the herbalist had collected all necessary descriptions and information needed to carry out the robbery.
“After a while, he told me that we have a special operation,” Mr. Taiwo said.
“He further told me that his patient (the woman’s daughter) must not be aware because we were going to their house to rob her mother.”
The suspect also told investigators that the herbalist knew the exact time to strike the house, the description of the apartment, where the woman’s money and other valuables were kept following the information gotten from her daughter.
“We carried out the robbery successfully,” he said.
“We gained entrance into the two-storey building and headed straight to the old woman’s flat.
“From our preliminary investigation, we got to know that the first flat opposite the entrance gate was theirs. We went straight inside the flat without any stress.
“We met the 81-year-old woman while sitting on the prayer’s mat inside the living room. We dragged and threatened her with cutlass and axe to surrender all her belongings including foreign currencies with her or else we will waste her life.”
The suspect said the old woman cooperated with them and handed over a bag filled with both local and foreign currencies.
“We also forcefully collected her gold jewellery box,” said Mr. Taiwo.
“However, on our way out, we overheard the voice of the old woman who was crying and shouting for help. Unknowingly to us, RRS operatives who were patrolling the area have overheard her voice.
“As we were rushing out to escape from the house, the operatives sighted us and we took to our heels. Immediately, the policemen made a hot chase which led to my arrest and my accomplice managed to escape with the local and foreign currencies while the jewellery box was retrieved from me.”
The suspect also told the police they had, in the past, robbed a man, along Okota road, of his N200,000.
“My gang leader is a very powerful herbalist. He knows when you have money on you,” he said.
“The first day I followed him to rob was a day when we went to Okota road. On getting there, he saw one man along Okota road, and he pointed at the man and told me the man had money on him.
“We moved closer to the man and he recited some incantations, and to my surprise, that man handed over his money, about N200,000, to us.
“Out of that money, he gave me just N11,000.”
While confirming the arrest, the State Police Public Relations Officer, Dolapo Badmus, said the Command is making effort to arrest the gang leader.
The suspect has been transferred to Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) for further investigation, according to the police.