The robbery was an elegant flick of the wrist, but the phone, an expensive way to keep in touch, found no buyers.
Oshiwara resident Khudosh Qurban Ali (35), allegedly robbed a Rs 2.36-lakh Vertu Signature, but his desperation to find a charger – worth Rs 16,000 – for the platinum-coated mobile phone, landed him behind bars.
"On September 29, interior designer Soniya Kumar (38) kept her Vertu Signature phone on the counter of her interior decorations showroom at Lakshmi Industrial Estate in Andheri (West) and went to attend to customers," Senior Police Inspector Kiran Sonone of the Oshiwara police station said. "Sensing his chance, Ali, a resident of a nearby slum who was roaming around, flicked the phone from the counter."
Kumar registered a complaint with the Oshiwara police the next day. But, while robbing the phone was easy, selling it was not, as no one was ready to buy the phone without its charger, the police said.
So Ali decided to spend Rs 16,000 from his own pocket on the charger; that, however, was not the end of his woes – he went shop to shop looking for the charger but no shopkeeper in the area had one, the police said.
By then the police had apprised shopkeepers in the area about the theft and asked them to keep an eye on an unlikely shopper looking for a very expensive charger.
Ali's luck ran out on October 12, when he went to a shop in Oshiwara asking for the charger. "The owner called up the police saying, 'A person, who doesn't look like he can own an expensive mobile phone, is looking for the Vertu charger'," said Sonone.
Ali was arrested and later confessed to the crime, the police said. The phone was recovered. "The Vertu phone is only available with the Popley and Sons shop in Bandra but Ali was not aware of this," Sonone said.
He has been remanded in police custody till October 20.