Phone Snatching On The Increase, As Xmas Approaches


With barely two months to Christmas, many residents of Lagos Metropolis have cried out over rising incidence of handset snatching by mobile phone thieves.

Some victims of the handset theft, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), claimed that they were robbed of their mobile phones inside traffic holdups and at bus stops.

The victims said that the phone snatchers operate around flash points such as Ketu, Ojota, Mile 12, Oshodi-Oke, Ikeja, Obalende, Okokomaiko and Mile 12 areas of the metropolis.

A victim, Victor Odion, told NAN that two boys at Ojota bus stop picked up his handset from between the front seats of his car, while he was stuck in traffic around 9 p.m. at Ojota.

“One of the boys banged on my car from behind to distract me, while the other one picked my phone through the front window and both escaped into the crowd, ” said the victim.

Another victim, Mr. Gbenga Alabi, a banker, told NAN that his phone was snatched from him as he was receiving a call at about 7 p.m. at Obalende.

“It is very frustrating that these phone snatchers, some of whom are armed, carry out their heinous activities with impunity.

“Something has to be done about this ever increasing wave of phone snatching,” he said.

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NAN learnt that the phone snatchers lacked regard for the house of God as they also operate in churches.

The phone thieves reportedly steal handsets from purses and bags of members of the congregation when they leave their seats to give offerings.

A NAN visit to some major bus stops in Lagos metropolis such as Obalende, Ojuelegba, Ikeja and Ikorodu, showed that there is a growing market for second-hand or used phones, suspected to have been stolen from their original owners.

A woman, who asked for anonymity, told NAN that she was surprised to find her stolen phone on display for sale at Obalende bus-stop.

Speaking on the trend, the Lagos State police spokesman, Mr. Frank Mba, advised the public to be mindful of the way they display their handsets so as not to attract the attention of phone snatchers.

“Members of the public should be very careful with the way they handle their phones in public.

“Ladies should hold their bags close to themselves when they are on Okada or any other public places,” advised Mba.

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