Lagos state police have arrested a suspected thief, Tokunbo Ojo, who says a master key he owned made it easy for him to steal from vehicles during public functions such as weddings and burials.
The Punch reports that Ojo recently got lucky as he stole N3.2m from a car parked at the campaign rally of the Peoples Democratic Party in Abeokuta, Ogun state.
It was reported that the 49-year-old, who hails from Aramoko, Ekiti state, was nabbed by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in possession of the master key on Tuesday, April 14.
According to the police, the suspect consulted a welder in 2013 to make the master key for him, which he used to open parked vehicles, carting away money and other valuables in the vehicles.
Ojo had allegedly attended weddings, funerals, political campaigns and other functions where he used the key to break into parked vehicles.
While speaking with The Punch, Ojo, a father of two, who lived on Agbotikuyo Street, Agege, explained that he usually dressed well and pretended to be one of the invited guests at functions before carrying out his evil deeds.
He said, “I used to work as a house painter. But in 2013, my work was no longer flourishing. So I developed the idea of using a master key to steal.
“I consulted a welder friend to make the key for me. I got it from him for N500. Since 2013, I had gone to high-class events for operations. I usually dressed like one of the guests and would mingle with other guests as if I was invited.
“Later, I would go out as if I forgot something in my vehicle. And I would proceed to one of the expensive vehicles where I suspected there would be valuables. The master key could open any vehicle.”
Ojo added that during the recent electioneering, he stole N3.2m from a car parked at the venue of a campaign rally in Abeokuta, Ogun state. He said he also stole laptops, phones and jewellery from other cars he opened.
He said, “The campaign rally was in Abeokuta, Ogun State, and it was the PDP campaign rally. I saw N3.2m inside one of the vehicles I opened. Nobody suspected anything. I used the money to get a Toyota Highlander. The police have taken the vehicle from me.
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“My wife and two children did not know this was the work I did. I stole in order to survive. I regret my actions now. I wish I could be forgiven.”
Our correspondent learnt that the police caught Ojo red-handed and arrested him at a function in Lagos after they got a tip-off about his activities at public ceremonies.
The police said investigations revealed that Ojo did not work alone, adding that they were still on the lookout for his fleeing accomplices.
The Lagos state police public relations officer, DSP Kenneth Nwosu, confirmed the arrest. He added that the police recovered a vehicle from the suspect.