A 13-year-old boy, identified simply as Ajayi, told journalists yesterday at the Lagos State Police Command Headquarters, Ikeja, that he was introduced into robbery in a mosque where he was sleeping.
The suspect, who was arrested alongside his accomplice, Balogun (13), said he was living with his father before he remarried after divorcing his mother.
According to him, immediately his stepmother moved in, his father took him to a mosque at Jakande Estate area and asked him to be sleeping there.
Ajayi said it was in the mosque that he was introduced into robbery by older people he met there.
The suspect said throughout his stay in the mosque his father neither visited him nor gave him money for feeding.
According to him, while in the mosque, he had no option than to steal to survive because he didn’t want to die of hunger.
He said: “After a while, the management of the mosque sent every one of us sleeping in the mosque out. The leaders of the mosque said we constituted nuisance. After that my father took me to his workshop where he sew clothes and asked me to be sleeping in the shop, instead of taking me home.
“It was in my father’s shop where I was sleeping that I met my accomplice and we became friends. He then told me that his elder brother needed a laptop. He said if I come across someone who wanted to sell I should contact him.
“One fateful day, I was walking on a street at Jakande Estate when I saw an empty Disc Jockey (DJ) shop opened. I went straight into the shop, picked the laptop and went away. Thereafter, I called my friend that I have a laptop for his brother.”
“After I had stolen the laptop, I took it to my friend’s elder brother and I told him I was selling it for N10,000 but he said he could only afford N3,000. Because I was hungry, I agreed to the price. He gave me N2,000 and asked me to come later for N1,000.”
Ajayi, who looked sober when narrating his experience, said had it been that his mother was with his father he wouldn’t have found himself on the street.
He said: “It was because my stepmother said she did not want to see me that led me into robbery. I regret my action. I was later arrested by the police on the street when I was going to buy food I wanted to eat on Tuesday last week about 8p.m.”
On his own, Balogun said he became friends with Ajayi in school and they also lived on the same street at Jakande area.
He said: “When he brought the laptop to me, I asked him where he got it from. He told me he stole it; I asked him to return it to where he picked it from that I didn’t want to see the laptop.
“Instead of returning the laptop to where he stole it from, he went to sell it to another person. I was going on an errand when police arrested.”
The buyer of the laptop, Babatunde Adejagun (27), said it was his friend, Lawal Wasiu, who introduced the boy to him.
He said: “It was where they were fixing phone at a shopping complex at Jakande that they approached my friend that they had a laptop they wanted to sell. My friend then brought them to me.
“When they brought it to me, they said it was their brother who is a DJ that owned it but he asked them to sell. It was then I decided to buy it from them. They told me initially that they were selling it for N8,000 but I told them I could only afford N3,000. They agreed and I gave them N2,000. I told them to come back for the balance of N1,000.”
The state Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, who paraded the suspects at the Command Headquarters, Ikeja, said operatives attached to Ejigbo Police Divisional Headquarters on September 2, two teenagers who specialised in breaking into people’s shops at the dead of the night were arrested.
He said: “Luck, however, ran out on them when they burgled a shop located at Block 397, Jakande Estate, Ejigbo and made away with the following items – one generator value N15,000, one HP laptop valued N90,000, one Amplifier valued N40,000 and one Compact Disc Mixer valued at N150,000.”
The commissioner, however, said the suspects and the buyer of the goods would be charged to court after investigation.