As though on a joyride, four thieves on two motorbikes rode from Bandra to Andheri breaking into three stores on the way on Thursday morning. They made away with Rs 45,000 and wrist watches worth Rs 10 lakh before sunrise. The police have launched a massive manhunt for this new gang of thieves.
"This seems to be a new gang. We have not seen such a modus operandi before. Besides, hardened criminals are never this fearless and will not break into three shops in the same night," said a senior police official.
The gang's first stop was Tara Jewels on Waterfield Road in Bandra (west) around 4.40am. They threatened the watchman with choppers, hit him when he protested and broke the lock of the store's door. "When they tried to open the door the emergency alarm went off, alerting the locals. The quartet then panicked and fled the spot," said an official from the Bandra police.
Unsuccessful, they rode on to Santacruz and broke into an outlet of Brijwasi Sweets, a popular sweetmeat shop on SV Road, at 5.15am. Here too, they threatened the security guard with choppers, assaulted him, broke the shop's shutter and stole Rs45,000.
Continuing their journey on SV Road, the thieves broke into a World Time, Titan watch showroom at Andheri at 6.10am. Again they threatened the security guard. But this time one of the robbers stayed outside holding the security guard Ranjeet Thakur. The other three broke the lock and entered the store and robbed 255 wristwatches, collectively worth Rs 10 lakh and Rs 12,000. To add to their loot, they also snatched the watchman's mobile phone worth Rs 3,000.
"We scanned the CCTV footage of the Titan shop and the four accused are seen threatening the watchman and breaking into the store. However, they were wearing helmets and their faces are not visible. We don't even know the registration numbers of the motorbikes," said an official from the Juhu police.
The Bandra, Santacruz and Juhu police have registered cases against the quartet.