Early Start: 'I started robbing when I was 7' – Suspect tells police

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The suspects, Yusuf lawal and Taju Alabi

A 20-year-old armed robbery suspect shocked the police when he said he started robbing at 7.

Yusuf Lawal, a 20-year-old armed robbery suspect arrested by the Lagos State Police Command, shocked officers and journalists that he started his robbery expedition at the early age of seven, reports Punch.

Lawal, also known as Eletu, was arrested alongside his 19-year-old sidekick, Taju Alabi, alias Kolo, at the Ebute Meta area of the state, with the police describing them as some of the deadliest and merciless robbers that have been terrorising the state.

Read: “Catch Them Young: How robbers force kids to steal for them”

The duo was arrested by officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), attached to the State Department of Criminal Investigation, while patrolling Kadiri and Kano Streets in the early hours of Monday, November 16, when they heard a cry for help and on storming the areas, police discovered that a group of robbers, numbering 19, were operating in the community at the time.

The police, while responding to the call for help, arrested 20-year-old Lawal who was said to be dispossessing a victim of money, phones, and other valuables while his accomplice stabbed the victim and fled the scene.

Read: “Bad Child: Police officer’s son nabbed for armed robbery”

Lawal, a father of one, told the police he is an only child said he started with petty robbery and refused to stop even after his father had told him to.

“I am the only child of my parents. I grew up not knowing my mother, who died when I was still a child. I don’t know what my father does for a living.

My father could not correct me because I always overpowered him whenever he attempted to do so. I later ran away from home and started living with a friend in Idi-Oro, Mushin.

I started robbing when I was seven after I quit primary school. My friend, Sule, introduced me to robbery and we always went out to rob residents. We stole phones, money, and other valuables.

Also, we usually rob very early in the morning. I will turn a new leaf if the police can release me.”

His partner in crime, Alabi, denied knowing Lawal and never participated in any robbery operation with him, but a confrontation ensued between them as they exchanged words.

“On two different occasions, I stole phones and gave them to you to sell, which you did and we later shared the money.

You saw me living large and you asked me for the secret, and I told you. We have been doing this together so tell the truth. When we were robbing people, you should have known this will be the end,” Lawal said.

Alabi, confronted with the reality, subsequently owned up, adding that he had only gone for three operations.

“Yes, he’s my friend and we have been friends since childhood. We met at Mushin. I work at a car-wash and I am also a bus conductor. I have only stolen three phones. It is true that we rob people.”

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