The rape and murder of three young girls in Nehru Nagar, Kurla, has residents of the area on guard and tense.
On Wednesday, locals thrashed a 41-year-old man, suspecting him to be the serial killer, and handed him over to the police after he tried to lure girls with money and chocolates.
The police have arrested Kamlesh Baliram Sharma on charges of attempting to kidnap and molestation.
Prabhakar Satam, assistant commissioner of police, Kurla division, said they have not established Sharma’s role in the serial killings, but said: “We are not ruling out the possibility.”
The incident took place at the same spot from where one of the victims as kidnapped.
Satyappa Pawar, who witnessed the incident, said Sharma first approached a nine-year-old, gave her Rs 20 and asked her to go with him to his house for money and chocolates. “But she ran away when he tried to catch hold of her,” he said, adding that Sharma then approached a seven-year-old.
The police have also conducted DNA tests on cops and their families in the locality, as a victim’s body was found on the terrace of the police quarters.