It seems the bad old days are back on Lagos roads.

Unscrupulous elements have now devised the use of private cars to perpetrate crime in the state.

The crime is well planned, choreographed and executed that before victims realise their misfortune, they would have been robbed and the perpetrators escape.

Bounce News gathered that the new wave of crime is usually perpetrated by criminals disguising as private cars drivers to lift unsuspecting passengers before tricking them to part with their valuables and personal belongings.

Bounce News investigation further revealed that these criminals always wait for rush hours like early in the morning, closing time or at night, targeting their preys.

They stop at busy bus stops where unsuspecting members of the public are struggling to rush into vehicles.

Tales of Woe

Aminat Owoeye, who works at the airport narrated to Bounce News how she joined a private bus from the airport with three other passengers going to Ilasamaja.

According to her, she started getting suspicious when the bus did not stop at any other bus stops to pick more passengers.

Her suspicion was proven right when, rather than go through the normal route towards Ilasa, the driver veered towards Oshodi Bridge linking Bariga.

By this time, two of the passengers in the bus who turned out to be members of the gang of criminals brought out their weapons asking  the two other persons to cooperate or risk their lives.

Her handbag containing N25,000 and a her mobile phone were taken from her. The robbers were kind enough to give her N200 to transport herself home.

Kunle another victim of the new wave of crime told Bounce News how the criminals lured him to enter their car in Dopemu.

He said he had gone to withdraw money through the Automated Teller Machine.

On his way back home after the transaction, a private car with three passengers already seated stopped by pretending to be picking passengers going towards Agege where he lives.

As he made his way in, already seated passengers provided a space for him in the middle. It was a setup.

The car zoomed towards Iyana Ipaja where the money on him was collected.


Lucky Escape

While Amina and Kunle fell victims,  Deborah Soetan was, however, lucky.

She said she entered a private car from Ogudu heading to Victoria Island with two other people in the car,

She said she assumed they were passengers too. One of them said he wanted to alight at Oworo and he has a bag with clothes in the boot.

The driver, however, said it was a lie.

“The driver said he opened the bag when some passengers alighted because he thought they forgot their load. He said the bag is full of hard currency, no clothes or whatsoever. So for that reason he wasn’t dropping the man, he’s taking him somewhere.

“Suddenly they asked for my intervention. I didn’t say a word because I’ve heard of different stories like this and how they kidnap or rob people who interfere. The driver changed route, so I asked why, he said he’s taking the man to where he’ll explain how he got the money.

She added that; “The third passenger said she was going with them. At that point, I knew something was wrong. I asked to get down immediately, the lady still had guts to tell me to follow them, saying it won’t take long.

“After I began to shout, the driver stopped for me to get down and that was how I escaped", she added.

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The spokesperson of Lagos State police command, Chike Oti, while reacting to the new antics of private car drivers in robbing unsuspecting passengers, said the police in the state had no records of such incidents.

Nevertheless, he expressed the commitment of the Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal to rid the state of criminals.

Oti denied that robbery activities by cab operators had increased in many parts of the state in recent times.

He said statistics available to the police showed that the rate of ‘One-Chance’ robbery through whatever means had been on the decline.

The police spokesperson said, “We don’t have incidents like that in our record.

"What I can tell you is that the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State has been working round the clock to ensure that criminals have no breathing space in the state. The incidents may be one-off cases."

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