A 39-year-old policeman attached with the Special Protection Unit (SPU) was taken off duty after a 19-year-old thief fled with his service pistol and 10 rounds.
Pradeep Kadam provided security to senior lawyer Raja Thakre, who worked as special public prosecutor in several major cases, for the past year. Twelve hours later, on January 3, Kadam found the stolen items wrapped in a cloth near his residence at Vikhroli Village.
The police on Tuesday arrested Abhishek Thapa, and recovered two mobile phones and ATM cards. The police said Thapa stole the pistol thinking it was a toy gun and intended to sell it. When he realised it was an actual weapon, he left it wrapped in a cloth.
“On January 3, Kadam got permission from Thakre to go to his mother’s place in Ghatkopar,” said inspector Subhash Nikam. “At home, Kadam kept his service revolver and the bullets on a table and went off to sleep. Later, his mother woke him up saying his pistol, bullets, two mobile phones and ATM cards were missing.”
Kadam informed the police. The police found a mobile phone from the room next to Kadam’s was also stolen. “Kadam called us on January 4 and said the pistol and bullets were found near his chawl,” said S Kakad, assistant inspector.
Thapa was tracked when he tried to use one of the stolen phones. “He was picked up from Mohammad Ali Road on Tuesday. We have his custody till Friday,” said Sanjay Shintre, deputy commissioner of police, Zone 7.
Police said Kadam’s negligence could have caused serious trouble. “SPU officials are allowed to take the pistol home but Kadam should have kept the weapon under lock and key,” said Nikam. Supriya Yadav, deputy commissioner of police (preventive) that overlooks the SPU department said: “There is definite negligence on Kadam’s part and action will be taken against him.”