Officers investigating the case of a day-old boy being stolen from Parel's Wadia hospital on Wednesday, believe that the accused had been loitering in the ward for some time waiting and watching before walking away with the infant. That's probably how the woman was able to steal the infant within a span of two minutes, even as the infant's mother was metres away, police said.
Deputy commissioner of police (zone 4) Dattatray Karale said, "The mother Jasmin Naik along with her mother had walked barely 20 metres from her bed. Yet, the woman picked up the child and escaped before Naik turned back." Police suspect the woman had been lying in wait at the ward, and on sensing an opportunity, grabbed the child and fled. An officer said, "The security at the hospital is shocking if someone can so easily steal a child."
An officer requesting anonymity said, "We suspect the woman is part of a gang that kidnaps infants and sells them." The officer said they would be showing the sketch of the woman to those earlier arrested in cases of kidnapping children.
While the hospital does not have a CCTV camera network, the police are checking for CCTV camera footage of establishments lining the routes leading to the hospital. "As a patient and her husband claim to have seen the accused going with the baby, we will ask them if they can identify the woman from among the people seen on the footage."
The police have also checked the CCTV footage at KEM hospital, in case the accused had gone there as well.
Assistant commissioner of police (Bhoiwada division) RB Poman said, "We have also asked for CCTV footage from major railway stations to see if the accused tried to escape from the city. Some of the footage is still awaited."
Senior inspector of Bhoiwada police, Vikram Patil, said, "We have formed six teams that have fanned out across the state. We are also in touch with several hospitals to see if they can be of any help."
There was some excitement amongst the investigating staff after news of a baby boy being found in Shirdi came in.
Poman, however, said the boy was found in a car at Shirdi around 8pm on Wednesday, while the kidnapping at Wadia hospital took place around 5.30pm.
"It was not possible for the accused to get there so soon. Also, the boy was two or three days old. We checked the photographs and they did not match. Hence, that possibility is ruled out," Poman said.