Four men posing as agents supplying transport vehicles to call centres were arrested by the Chembur police on Wednesday on charges of theft.
According to the police, the accused would approach suppliers with an offer to use their vehicles on contract basis for call centres. On pretext of taking the car for a test drive, they would get an imprint of the key, which they used to make a duplicate key. They would tell the supplier they were not interested in the vehicle and leave.
However, after a few days, the accused would then steal the car with the help of the duplicate key and sell it outside city limit.
Senior inspector Bhimdev Rathod said the four — identified as Krishna Boyana, 25, Zuber Sheikh, 28, Paras Baraiya, 24, and Mohammed Dadapil, 40 — had been using this modus operandi for the past six. “We have recovered a Fiat Palio, two Chevrolet Tavera, and six Tata Indica cars from them so far.
“They even made fake papers to sell the vehicles,” said Rathod.
The police arrested the gang following a complaint by one Raj Pandyan. Pandyan, in his complaint, said: “I had approached Boyana to get a contract for my vehicle from call centres. He took my car for a test drive. However, he came back and said the police had towed it away. I got suspicious that he was trying to trick me and so I approached the Chembur police.”
An officer investigating the case said on condition of anonymity: “All the four members in the gang had different roles. Boyana, who had worked as a travel agent for call centres, was the mastermind as he knew how the system worked. Sheikh took the four-wheelers for a test drive and arranged for duplicate keys. Bariya and Dadapil were the ones who were assigned the job of selling the stolen vehicles and making the fake papers.”