By Precious Igbonwelundu
A 50-year-old man Matthew Tokeme has been arrested by the police in Lagos for allegedly using his Toyota Sienna space bus for one-chance robbery operations.
Tokeme was arrested on February 2, after operatives of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) tracked the vehicle with registration number APP488FH to his residence.
It was gathered that the suspect and three others at large used the Sienna to rob commuters who were trapped on the road following the ban on commercial cycles.
Most victims took to social media to raise alarm about the Sienna and how they pretended to be loading passengers from Abeokuta Expressway to the Island only to divert and rob them.
Tokeme told reporters Wednesday that he was lured into the crime by his friends who were currently at large.
He claimed that he only obtained a phone and laptop which he sold N5, 000 and N20, 000 respectively.
The suspect said: “I used to do business but my business failed and so, my friend who is abroad sent me this vehicle to use for transpiration so I can fend for my family.
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“But it was those my friends who I knew from the bus stop that told me to bring my vehicle so we can use it for runs. I have known them for many years but I don’t know their houses.
“We usually pick a passenger so that we can easily overpower the person. We did not carry any weapon.”
Police spokesman Bala Elkana said RRS operatives were on the lookout of the vehicle following series of complaints on the social media.
“Information revealed from the public indicated that some armed robbers were sighted along Agidingbi road, Ikeja, operating in a Toyota Sienna with number APP488FH. They were attacking and robbing unsuspecting victims of their valuables. This is a Toyota Sienna described by quite a number of victims on several occasions, especially on the social media.
“Operatives of RRS who have been on the lookout of the vehicle intercepted it and the suspect was arrested. He is the leader if the robbery gang and the owner of the vehicle. He confessed to being the leader of the one-chance robbery gang. Efforts are in to arrest other members of the gang,” he said.