In a comedy of errors that spelt bad news for a 56-year-old man, two traffic police constables 'unwittingly' ended up helping five accused in abducting him from Pydhonie on July 11. The police came to know about this when one of the four arrested accused on Saturday told them about the sequence of events that led to the kidnapping and robbery.
On July 11, four of the five accused had been following 56-year-old Babban Gopane who was coming to the city in a bus, carrying cash and valuables of around Rs 10 lakh. As Gopane, who was to deliver the jewellery to a shop in the city, reached the Pydhonie area, the four accused halted their car and tried to shove him into the vehicle.
"The accused told us they thought they were in trouble when two traffic constables arrived at the spot. As per the accused, all in their twenties, they told the constables that Gopane was their grandfather who was mentally disturbed and kept running away from home. The constables bought this theory and helped the accused push the shocked 56-year-old into the vehicle," said an officer.
Gopane's bag was taken and he was dropped off at Vashi following which he approached the Pydhonie police, where a case was registered against unidentified accused.
While the Pydhonie police were investigating the case, the Antop Hill police in Central Mumbai were looking for accused, who on Monday had tied up a 17-year-old girl at her Antop Hill residence and took worth Rs 11 lakh. During investigations, they came across one Anees Wahid Khan, 19, and Abdulla Iftikhar Khan, 20, who approached a jewellery to sell stolen booty.
"As we were interrogating the accused in connection with the robbery at Antop Hill, they confessed to have been a part of the robbery at Pydhonie", said Antop Hill senior inspector S Pathan. "They also spilled the beans on cousins Mithun Bobade, 19, and Kolhapur-based Vijay Bobade, 21," said assistant police inspector A Dange from Antop Hill police station.