Three friends, who allegedly snatched gold chains to fund their lavish life, have been arrested.
With their arrests, the police claim to have cracked 16 cases of chain-snatching in Vartaknagar, Kapurbawdi, Kasar Wadavli and Wagle Estate.
Last week, based on a tip-off, the police had arrested Kedar Chaurasia, 22, a handloom worker from Bhiwandi.
“On detailed interrogation, we got information about his accomplices Ramkisen Paliwal, 22, and arrested him. The third aide, who has been identified as Abdul, is still at large,” said deputy commissioner of police (crime) Dattatray Karale.
The police said the men would sell the chains and splurge the money on clothes, bar girls and indulge in gambling.
They have recovered gold chains and other valuables worth more than Rs 5 lakh from the arrested men.
“Paliwal was the leader of the gang. Riding their bikes, they would target elderly women. They would ask their victim for directions, and when her attention would be diverted, the pillion rider would snatch her chain,” added Karale.
The men had allegedly committing several such robberies between Kasarwadavli in Thane to Dombivli for the last one year. Besides, they also have previous eight cases in Kalwa, Manpada and Dombivli, the police said.
“We will now increase our vigil against chain-snatchers and deploy a team of women constables in plainclothes to patrol areas where such incidents are common,” added Karale.