Desperate to pay off his loan of Rs14,000, Faisan Khopekar, 20, decided to rob a 50-year-old Malabar Hill resident. But he panicked after hitting her on the head and left his weapon — a hammer — behind.
The Malabar Hill police arrested Khan, a second year BCom student who also works as an AC mechanic, and his friend for attacking Pratibha Thakkar at her sixth-floor residence in Shivam Building on Tuesday.
The duo had attacked Thakkar with a hammer and robbed her diamond and gold pendant worth Rs1 lakh. However, in their haste to flee they left behind the hammer, which led the police to them.
According to the police, the hammer used was a special type of tool used only by plumbers. During questioning, the police found that a mechanic from Cool Zone had repaired Thakkar’s air conditioner two months ago. “We called all the mechanics of the shop for questioning and found that Khopekar’s answers were not convincing. He broke down and confessed. He then named his accomplice in the crime, Salman Shaikh, 19,” said Anil Kumbhare, deputy commissioner of police, zone 2.
Shaikh also works as an AC mechanic in Andheri. Both are residents of Mazgaon, the police said
Khopekar told the police that he didn’t earn enough to pay off his debt and hence decided to rob Thakkar.
On Tuesday, while Khopekar went to the Thakkar’s residence, Shaikh was standing below in the building premises. “There was a major security lapse in the building and there were no CCTV cameras there,” said Kumbhare.
While Khopekar had hoped to get his hands on a sizable amount of valuables, he panicked after he hit Thakkar and fled with whatever jewellery she was wearing.
Ganesh Rekulwad, police inspector of Malabar Hill police station, said, “Khopekar hadn’t planned to rob Thakkar when he went to her house two months ago. But when he couldn’t repay his loan, he thought of the victim. He chose Thakkar as he knew that she would be alone during the day.”
The duo has been remanded to police custody till August 8.