Mr. James Udobong
A serial thief who has been operating daringly in Abuja has met his waterloo as the police prepares him for subsequently for prosecution.
Mr James Udobong, who allegedly specialises in swindling phone dealers selling in major plazas in Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, has been arrested. Udobong, 29, from Akwa Ibom State, said he resides at Lugbe Airport Road, Abuja and used to repair phones at Wuse Market until he was kicked out of his shop because he couldn’t pay his rent.
He first came to Abuja in 2003, during the under 17 Golden Eaglet Camp. He was part of the hopefuls, but he wasn’t selected.
According to him, his friends initiated him into stealing of phones. He further disclosed that his friends took him to Transcorp Hotel and other five star hotels in Abuja, where they targeted drunken guests.
Recalling how Udobong was arrested, a police source said:
“The suspect used to take phone dealers to Transcop Hilton Hotel, there he would enter lift and disappear. He used to go to phone dealers within Abuja, dropping names of known politicians staying in the hotel; he would ask the dealer to follow him to Hilton Hotel.
“Once there, he would take them to any upper floor and asked them to wait by the hallway. He would say that he was going to show the politician the phones. He would then enter the lift and go down stairs. On the day he was arrested, he brought another victim to the hotel, took them to a particular floor in the hotel, entered the lift and absconded.
“Security operatives, at the hotel, who had been monitoring his activities for long, caught him. The security men said that the suspect has stolen several phones, using the same modus operandi.”
Narrating how he started stealing, Udobong said: “My friends taught me how to place orders for expensive mobile phones; we would tell the dealers that we were sent by a prominent politician lodging in one of the five star hotels in Abuja. Immediately I get there with the dealer,
I’ll take him to any floor in the hotel. I’ll show him a door and make him believe that the door leads into the hotel room of the politician that sent me to buy the phone. He wouldn’t know that the door leads downstairs.”
Udobong explained that once he walks out of the door, he would run downstairs, board a waiting taxi and vanish, leaving the dealer to become frantic. Narrating his last operation before his arrest, Udobong said: “I brought a dealer to Transcorp Hotel.
As usual, I told him to wait outside the ‘room,’ while I show the politician the phones. He handed the phones over to me. I entered the lift and went to the ground floor. While attempting to escape, I walked into the waiting hands of security guards at the hotel. I was arrested and handed over to the police. Police recovered some phones from me.