Little did the Oshiwara police know that when they were questioning the witnesses on May 19, the alleged kidnap-rape accused was committing another crime at the same hotel.
This not only delayed them from taking him into custody by 13 days, but they also could not save another teenager from meeting the same fate.
On Tuesday, the Oshiwara police took custody of Malad resident Pritesh Doshi (24) for allegedly kidnapping the 13-year-old daughter of an actor-filmmaker from Andheri Lokhandwala, and having unnatural sex with her at a Madh island hotel on May 10.
Doshi had been arrested by the Charkop police on May 20 for kidnapping a 14-year-old from Kandivli and raping her in the same hotel a day earlier.
But had the Oshiwara police not called the hotel manager and waiter for questioning on May 19, they would have recognised Doshi and helped catch him.
“It was Doshi’s luck that when he went to the hotel for the second time the people who could have identified him were at the Oshiwara police station,” said Inspector Dattatrey Sankhe.
“We had called the witnesses, including the manager and waiter, to identify the accused from the pictures of the girl’s friends. Had the manager or the waiter been at the hotel that day they would have informed us on seeing Doshi with another girl and we could have arrested him.”
The police will interrogate him to recover the 13-year-old’s cellphone and check if he has any chain-snatching cases registered against him in the area. Doshi has 30 chain-snatching cases registered against him at various police stations.
“We will take his blood sample to check if it matches with the victim’s saliva swabs to prove the unnatural sex charge,” said Sankhe.