Setting up a CCTV camera at his residence, the feed of which could be regulated by his wife through her high-end mobile phone, turned out to be counterproductive for a Dadar-based businessman after his wife’s phone got stolen.
The accused used the CCTV feed to kept tabs on the businessman and his family, threatened them and extorted money from them.
On September 14, the wife’s phone was stolen while she was at an event at Shanmukhananda Hall. Senior inspector of crime branch (unit 4) Vinayak Vast said Rahul Hiwale alias Suresh, 26, who stole the phone, went through its contents and found the CCTV feed.
Hiwale realised it was the feed from the businessman’s residence and that he could use it to extort money.
Initially, when the woman called her number, Hiwale agreed to hand over the mobile for Rs 5,000.
He, however, pocketed the money and did not return the phone.
“Hiwale started calling the [businessman] and would give him details about the family’s daily activities such as ‘now you are seated in the hall’, ‘you got up late today’, ‘your daughter is playing outside’,” Vast said.
After scaring the complainant, Hiwale threatened to harm his one-year-old daughter if he did not pay Rs1 lakh. The businessman later realised the accused was using the CCTV footage and disconnected the feed.
“The accused also put up a photograph of his daughter from the stolen phone on his Facebook page with the message ‘save me’,” the senior inspector said.
Following this, the complainant approached joint commissioner of police (crime), Himanshu Roy. Under instructions from the police, the complainant agreed to meet the accused on Sunday and pay Rs25,000 for his daughter’s safety.
“Hiwale walked into the trap and was arrested,” Vast said.
The police found that Hiwale was a graduate and had also done a diploma but did not have a job.
The Aurgangabad native was earlier living with his brother but after a fight, was forced to stay at CST, following which he started stealing mobile phones.