A 42-year-old man, who spent several years working at hardware stores across the city, tried to use the knowledge to dupe people. But, Kamlesh Jain alias Puranchand ran out of luck last week after allegedly duping at least 11 hardware store owners of Rs. 12 lakh. The police suspect his involvement in at least 10 more cases.
Explaining Jain’s modus operandi, senior inspector of crime branch Unit 2, Nishikant Patil, said, “Jain would call up hardware stores and speak like a trader. Knowing how the business operated, he would then place an order. Jain would also bargain a lot in order to appear genuine. He would ask the trader to send the delivery to a particular spot, where he would be waiting with a tempo.”
Patil said when the tempo with the cargo showed up, Jain would tell the deliveryman to shift the cargo, saying he would pay him at his shop on the other side of the road.
When the delivery boy went to the other side with the bill, Jain would flee in the tempo and switch off his mobile phone, Patil said. “The accused has duped several people this way.
Finally, Dalichand Shah, 34, a hardware shop owner from south Mumbai approached the police. Jain’s mobile phone was put under surveillance and he was arrested last week from Dahisar.