A 22-year-old MBA student used only her guts and presence of mind to catch a hardened thief who stole her cellphone in rush hour traffic at Borivli railway station on Saturday.
Around 1 pm on platform 7, Tanvi Bhatt (22), a Borivli resident, was headed for the first-class ladies compartment of a Churchgate-bound slow local.
“Someone bumped into me on the platform. I didn’t realise the cellphone in my bag had been stolen in the rush to get into the compartment,” Bhatt told Hindustan Times. Other passengers in her compartment suggested she check her bag as they had seen a man with his hand in it. “When I checked, I found my phone missing,” said Bhatt.
The passengers told her they had seen the man enter the adjoining first-class general compartment and described the shirt he was wearing. Bhatt alighted, and ran to the general compartment. “I immediately located the thief, slapped him twice and took my phone, which he was still holding,” she said.
MR Rajesh, another commuter, who had initially helped Bhatt nab the thief – identified as Sanjay Moti (22) – called the railway helpline (98333-31111). Till the police reached the spot, other commuters held Moti
“When we got the call, we informed the Government Railway Police (GRP) at Borivli station. They relayed the message to a police Naik who was patrolling platform 7,” Rajendra Nikam, police inspector in charge of the GRP helpline told Hindustan Times.
Within minutes, a GRP team entered the first-class general compartment and caught Moti, who lives near the Balbharti School in Kandivli (West). “There are several cases of theft and robbery against Moti, and in 2008, he was externed for two years from Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai and Raigad,” Nikam added.
“Under Section 142 of the Bombay Police Act, we re-externed him and presented him at the holiday court at Bandra, where he was remanded to judicial custody,” said a GRP officer. Since Bhatt did not lodge a police complaint, no FIR was registered.