A 35-year-old convict native of Borno State and graduate of the University of Maiduguri, Shettima Abubakar, known for stealing laptops from cars within the Central Area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has revealed his mode of operation.
According to him, he uses a pen to interrupt the lock system of vehicles, especially from unsuspecting victims using remote keys.
Abubakar had confessed to his crime after he was paraded alongside five others at the Central Police Station, located at the Federal Secretariat area of the FCT.
The other suspects include the one who unlocks the laptops after being stolen; the one who sells the laptops and the unsuspecting end buyer of the laptop.
Abubakar, who answered questions from newsmen explained how he operated until his arrest.
“If you come with your vehicle and I am close to it before you press the remote of your vehicle, I will follow the other passenger side, and open it and insert a pen there.
“So, even when you lock it with the remote, it will show you a sign that you locked it with its lock pattern. Then after you go, I will come back and open the vehicle.
“So, anything that looks like a bag inside a car, I try to see what is in it and when there is a laptop, I take it and leave the rest.”
The FCT Police Spokesperson, DSP Josephine Adeh, while addressing the news men said that Abubakar, the two-time convict alongside the other suspects were arrested between August 5 and 10 after a painstaking investigation by operatives of the Central Police.
“The suspects specialize in stealing laptops, Ipads and others. Out of the six, three are suspects – those who steal laptops and the other three are receivers and they have been terrorizing the central area.”
Adeh advised residents to be vigilant and ensure they utilise various tools in safeguarding their cars.
But Abubakar, the gang leader of the syndicate had more on what residents should do.
“My advice for people that have vehicles is that they should be assured that if someone was using a key to lock his/her vehicle it will be hard for someone else to open the car because you are standing by your vehicle.
“People who use remotes to lock their cars with pride should stop it, especially those who move a bit of a distance before locking their cars. If you want to lock your vehicle, ensure it is locked before leaving there, else someone will have access to it.”
Meanwhile, the police urged residents with missing laptops report to the command or the central police station to reclaim their belongings. The command paraded about 200 laptops, allegedly stolen by the suspects.
But another suspect, Kabiru Useni, from Kogi State who was arrested for his complicity, claimed innocence after accusing the police of seizing laptops from his store in Wuse zone 3, upon his arrest.
The police arrested him for having identified his role in unlocking stolen laptops as well as buying the carcass of condemned laptops. But Useni feigned ignorance of the circumstances surrounding the laptops brought to him.
He said out of the laptops displayed as an exhibits, at least 20 belonged to his clients. The police, however, revealed that investigation has shown that Useni bought a laptop from Abubakar for at least N100,000.