In a special mission conducted, in the first half of December 2006, the Thane Rural Police successfully busted an interstate gang of 30 robbers which was active on the villages bordering Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Nineteen members of the gang have been arrested and material worth Rs. 2.36 lakh, including gold and guns, has been recovered from them. 11 members of this gang are still at large.
"We could solve 13 cases of robberies and house breaking after the arrest of this gang and will soon put the absconding members of the gang behind the bars", said Archana Tyagi, Superintendent of Police.
According to Naseer Pathan, senior police inspector of crime branch, all the accused are the residents of the rural parts of Thane. The gang was involved in many cases of the robberies on farm houses, lonely homes, temples, industries at Vikramgad, Wada, Talasari, Palghar, Saphale and some parts of Gujrath state.
Since the leader of the gang, Vicky alias Vilas Navsu Chowdhari, has been studied up to the first year of Bachelor of commerce, the modus operandy of the gang was also well planned.
After fixing the target two of them used to develop good relations with some of the people related to the target. Once the details of the target were collected they used to send some coded messages to Vicky or his associate Gulab Kathya through the STD or local phones.
They used to plan further movement of robbery. After informing the day and time of the robbery to other members of the gang who used to stay at different places, they all used to move towards the target in small groups avoiding the main roads or public places. They used to meet together at around 8 o'clock in the evening on a particular day.
After having dinner together, they spread again and gather near the target 12 o'clock in the midnight. In the last move they used to attack their target and used to loot the valuables on the gun point. "They often beat up the men from the houses but never touched any woman or children", said inspector Pathan.
Acting on the information, additional SP Deepak Sakore and deputy SP Rajkumar Shinde created special squads with the help of local police officers and searched the entire rural and jungle region by changing get ups.
During interrogation, the accused admitted the 13 cases of robberies, they had committed in different areas. They also told that fed up by the unemployment they moved on the way of crime.