Sources say the thief entered an apartment at 19 Olorunshogu Street, Mushin, where he collected the phone and sneaked out at about 6.30pm.
A female tenant was said to have spotted him with the phone, raised alarm which alerted residents.
Eyewitnesses say that the thief initially denied the allegeation but confessed later, saying it is because of hunger.
His passionate plea for forgiveness fell on deaf ears as he was beaten to a pulp and set ablaze before the arrival of policemen from Area ‘ D’ command.
Spokesman for the Lagos State Police command, Olarinde Famous-Cole, who confirmed the incident, said that one person had been arrested in connection with the mob action.
He gave the identity of the arrested suspect as Isiaka Kolawole, adding that he was being interrogated at the Homicide section of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department. SCIID, Yaba.