A welder, Umar Adam, has said that the demolition of his workshop in Mararaba by the Nasarawa State Government led him into crime.
Adam, 19, who was arrested alongside Friday Luyom, 18, and Felix James, 19, for selling stolen phones, stated that he was making a decent living from his workshop until the facility was pulled down.
He explained that after the workshop was destroyed, he set up a small container where he operated a phone-charging centre where he eked out a living.
According to him, the first stolen handset he bought from Luyom was an Infinix phone, which he sold for N16, 000.
He said, “Friday (Luyom) later brought a Samsung S5 which I bought for N15, 000. I didn’t see him for some days, but he later showed up with a Techno phone which I bought for N20, 000 and sold at N22, 000.
“Last Wednesday, I was sweeping the shop when a friend told me that the police had arrested Friday and he advised that I should retrieve all the phones I bought from him if I didn’t want police trouble. I got back the phones, but the police arrested me on Thursday.”
Adam claimed to have bought only two phones from his accomplice, adding that he had also bought five phones from “stranded travellers.”
Luyom, a panel beater, said he had only snatched five phones, stressing that he got involved in the crime about two months ago.
James told Northern City News that he had snatched about two phones which he sold for N28, 500.
“I usually snatched the phones from people’s hands. I don’t snatch bags or wallets, I snatch phones from the owners’ hand when they are not vigilant,” he stated.