Two members of an alleged gang of two-wheeler thieves were arrested on Thursday and 25 stolen bikes were found by the DB Marg police. With this, the police claimed to have busted a major racket.
The two arrested have been identified as Byculla resident Imran Abdul Hafiz, 34, an employee of a Goregaon-based private firm and Mira Road resident Khidar Ayaz Nadir Sayyed, 24, who runs a garage in Byculla. The two led the police to 25 stolen bikes, off which 18 have been recovered and the rest are being recovered.
The matter came to light after a man registered a complaint at Pavwala chowki about his bike being stolen from Dreamland Theatre area in Grant Road on January 10. The complainant (name withheld) said he had kept his mobile phone in the bike’s carrier.
The police tracked the location of the mobile phone to Agripada. Apart from the complainant’s bike, the police found three more stolen bikes nearby.
Senior inspector Pandurang Shinde with the guidance of senior officers formed a team comprising sub-inspector Nitin Lavande, head constable Mahesh Tavde, police naik Nandu Belnekar, Waghmare, Kamble, constables Salim Mujawar, Kirti Varadhi, Sachin Dubal, Prashant Sawant and Rajendra Mandlik.
The police team laid a trap and detained Hafiz and Sayyed. Upon interrogation, the duo led the police team to 18 bikes in Mira Road, Bhivandi, Vikhroli and Goregaon areas. These bikes were stolen from LT Marg, VP Road, Wadala and JJ Marg areas of the city police.
An officer from the DB Marg police station said, “The duo roamed around the crowded areas in south Mumbai on a bike and after identifying bikes with unlocked handles towed them manually. They changed the bike’s registration plates and to make quick money mortgaged them with money lenders.”
The officer said the two had sold a few bikes which had their documents in the bikes.
Cruiser bikes in demand
The two arrested accused told investigators they would always try to steal cruiser bikes as mortgaging them would shell good sums. Of the 18 recovered bikes, five are cruiser bikes. Police said the accused had been operating for at least a year. The two have been remanded in police custody up to Monday by a local court.