A Maruwa rider who absconded with his boss’ Keke Napep has finally been caught after four months on the run.
The Operatives of the Lagos State Rapid Response Squad, a unit of the Lagos Police Command have arrested a tricycle rider otherwise known as ‘Keke Maruwa’ after stealing the tricycle over four months ago.
The suspect, Tosin Abolaji, 25-year-old, was arrested in Ikeja, where he was using the stolen ‘keke’ for transport business.
The ‘Keke’ was given to him by one Emmanuel sometimes in April 2019 to enable him raise some funds to cater for his family.
According to sources close to both parties, ‘Keke’ operators always engage themselves in shift ride, where a rider after working for hours and wish to rest, would hand over his ‘Keke’ to another rider on an agreed time to return the keke back to the owner.
The suspect, Tosin had told Emmanuel that he was hungry and needed to work with Emmanuel’s keke for few hours. Unknown to Emmanuel who thought he was helping, Tosin had an ulterior motive of stealing the newly bought ‘Keke’.
Emmanuel, narating his ordeal after the ‘Keke’ was recovered by police, stated that he got the tricycle on hired purchase from a micro-finance bank before it was stolen by his friend.
“I was arrested by the bank after I could not meet up with the return payment plan agreement I had with the bank. I begged the bank to please allow me talk to my colleagues who can assist me in getting a keke which I can be riding to pay back the debt while I continue to search every nooks and cranny”, Emmanuel said.
“I have searched almost the whole of Lagos tricycle garages for my ‘keke’, begged all other friends in the neighborhood maybe they can help me with Tosin’s whereabout but I was told he had cut contact with everybody in the area after the incident.
It was during the search that I learnt Tosin was a thief as colleagues who knew him well also shared their experiences about him, collecting colleagues’ ‘Keke’ and absconding with it for days without knowledge of the owners”.
He added, “after four months of rigorous search for my ‘Keke’, a good Samaritan who saw Tosin around Ikeja hinted me. I quickly alerted the police and they arrested him and recovered my tricycle”.
Sources said that after the recovery, it was discovered Tosin had changed so many things in the ‘keke’ making it difficult for the owner to recognize his tricycle.
They added that so many stickers had been pasted on the tricycle to make it unrecogniseable.
According to the PPRO, DSP Bala Elkanah, incident like this can be mitigated by commercial riders in the State if only they can desist from exchanging their valuable means of transportation with their colleagues who might not share the same interest with them.
He also advised them to be law abiding while doing their daily business.
The case has been transferred to the ‘AREA G’ Police command where the matter was earlier reported for further investigations.