He had the perfect solution to every major financial crisis: Step out and steal a few bikes.
Whether it was wedding expenses or unpaid rent, 22-year-old Albert D’Souza allegedly went about picking up two-wheelers with practised ease to make a quick buck in lean times.
Until he ran into a group of curious policemen and panicked, early last week.
A resident of Jambulpada in Ghatkopar’s Asalpha village, D’Souza was arrested in Powai on Tuesday, the police said on Sunday, adding that he stole the two-wheelers to support his family.
“D’Souza has been booked for theft. We have recovered four bikes from him,” said Police Sub-Inspector Chandrakant Puri. One of the four stolen bikes belonged to a journalist, the police said.
“There are past cases of bike thefts against him at Sakinaka and Ghatkopar police stations.”
“On Tuesday, D’Souza came out of a dargah in Powai. As he was getting on his Bajaj Discover bike, he panicked on seeing policemen there,” said Puri, adding that the team was on duty near the dargah.
Finding his movements suspicious, the policemen accosted him. “He was unable to produce his driving licence and other documents,” said Puri.
Investigations revealed that D’Souza had stolen the bike, which belonged to one Vikrant More. “D’Souza was unemployed since a few months. He urgently needed Rs 3,000 to pay his house rent, failing which the landlord had threatened to evict his family,” Puri said.
In 2007, D’Souza had stolen a bike to pay for his wedding,” said another policeman.
“D’souza targeted bikes that lay abandoned at parking places and along the roads. He specifically picked up Bajaj Discover bikes as he found the handle locks of this model easy to break,” said Puri.
He would allegedly sell each stolen bike to unsuspecting buyers at anywhere between Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000.
“Asked for vehicle registration documents, D’Souza would slip away after getting the money,” Puri said.