6 places in this city where your phone could get snatched
6 people tell us stories about how their phones got snatched in Lagos and where it happened.
Phones can get snatched or nabbed in different ways
Although it is one aspect we’d rather ignore, crime in the bustling city of Lagos is something every resident learns to come to terms with.
Phone snatching, burglary, petty theft and instant scams; these threats follow you around the city. Getting by safely usually involves recognising the signs and subtle cues that you are in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Because the city moves at a breakneck pace, most small crimes occur in a near-instant. The most frequent of these, understandably, is phone snatching.
In the course of making their daily commute or going about their activities, many Lagosians lay their claim to living in a mobile world, standing or walking with mobile phones, relaying messages or catching a bit of news.
The mode by which this happens varies. Sometimes, a motorcycle zooms past and grabs the phone out of their hands. Other times, a random arm dips through the car window and grabs the phone.
As much as this can occur almost anywhere, certain locations in the city have the conditions that make this sort of activity easier than they would be elsewhere. We got 5 people to tell us how their phones got snatched in Lagos and where it happened.
1. Mile 2 — Orile Road
Chris had his phone snatched on his way to work
“It happened in the morning. I was on my way to work at 5.30 sitting in the front seat. I was listening to music but the driver’s music was louder than mine.
“So I dropped my phone. I got bored so I decided to use my phone. The bus was at Mile 2 on the way to Owode.”
“All I saw as a hand and my phone was out of my hands. I came down and chased the guy but I couldn’t catch up”
2. Ajah Roundabout
It should have been a bump-and-run, but Inem accosted the thief and got her phone back.
“I was walking home from work, at Ajah. It was bit rowdy so when the guy bumped into me, it wasn’t particularly unusual.”
“But then some instinct spurred me to check for my phone and I didn’t find it. So I walked to the man who had just bumped into me and asked for my phone back. He handed it to me almost immediately”
3. Stadium Bus-Stop
One minute, Tobe was holding his phone. The next minute, he was watching a motorcycle zoom by.
“I had just gotten off a bike from home. It was a Saturday morning so the roads were pretty clear. I was standing at Stadium Bus-Stop waiting to catch a bus.”
“If a bus had passed, I’d most likely have missed it. My head was buried in my phone as it almost always is. The guys must have noticed this.”
“The last thing I remember is I was trying to open a WhatsApp message. I clicked on it, and my phone was in someone else’s hands, in the backseat of a motorcycle speeding down Ikorodu Road.”
4. Carter Bridge
Nike learned not to leave her car window open
“I can’t really remember what happened to be honest. I was driving down Carter Bridge. The sun was hot and there was traffic so I turned the windows down.”
“My daughter was in the back seat and I was on the phone with my husband on and off. Somehow I dropped my phone on the passenger seat in front absentmindedly. After a few minutes, some guy walked up to my side mirror and tried to talk to me about a flat tire.”
“As I tried to pay attention to him, I saw someone grab at the other seat. I looked, saw and found the seat empty. Both the guys were gone.”
5. Mile 12
Solomon went there to buy groceries and left his phone behind
“I don’t like to talk about it. I went to the market with my mother on a random Friday. She was haggling with a tomato seller. That’s when I think it happened.”
“There were a lot of people brushing past us so I don’t know who did it in particular. I just felt some pressure on my pocket. Put my hand in my pocket and my iPhone was gone”
6, Cele Bus-stop
” They rob with motor bikes. Don’t answer calls or operate your phones here because they snatch phones on motion with their bikes”