By Chiemelie Ezeobi
A serial ATM armed robber, Gbenga Babatunde, was yesterday arrested by operatives of Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Lagos State Police Command, for targeting ATM users and robbing them.
The 35-year-old, has since confessed to have robbed about 35 ATM users in Alaba Rago Market, Ojo area of Lagos before his arrest.
The suspect was finally arrested after a failed bid to rob a lady who withdrew an unspecified amount of money around 5:48a.m. at an ATM point in Alaba Rago Market.
After the operatives, who were on routine patrol in the area gave the robber a chase, he was arrested and a cut-to-size locally made short gun with two life cartridges were recovered from him.
It was gathered that the suspect, was not operating alone, as he had an accomplice, one Samson Baba Ramadan, 28, who managed to escape after the botched operation.
Upon his arrival at the RRS’s Headquarters in Alausa, the suspect who owned up to the crime, said that his accomplice, now on the run, introduced him to the life of crime.
He said: “I have been in crime since I met my colleague, Samson Baba Ramadan. I met him at Field Joint, Alaba, two years ago and since then we have been working together.
“We have robbed about 35 people together. Our modus operandi is that by 4a.m, we would have gotten to the ATM centre and then hide inside the shop that is not open beside the ATM point.
“As soon as the customer collects the money, we accost them and collect the money and escape. The last money we collected was N40, 000. Yesterday, we collected N12, 500.
“We have always been successful until this morning when we wanted to collect money from a lady but she ran away.
“We thought she had gone, not knowing that she went to inform RRS operatives. This was around 5a.m. They pursued us and arrested me but my partner escaped.”
Also recovered from the suspect were a First Bank mastercard belonging to one Iweka Christopher Uchenna and a Diamond Bank debit card owned by Nkechi Esther Idoko.
The state police spokesperson, Dolapo Badmos, who confirmed the arrest, said the state command would leave no stone unturned towards ensuring that suspected criminals are brought to justice.
The case has been transferred to State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti, Yaba, for further investigation and prosecution.