Burglar helps victim lodge police complaint, arrested with stolen booty

Published on Sep 21, 2022 12:40 AM IST

Mumbai In order to deflect suspicion from himself, a 29-year-old Chembur resident, after burgling his neighbour’s house, took him to the police station himself and helped him lodge a complaint

Police asked him if there had been any prior burglaries or attempts in his house. (HT FIle)
Police asked him if there had been any prior burglaries or attempts in his house. (HT FIle)
ByGautam S Mengle

Mumbai In order to deflect suspicion from himself, a 29-year-old Chembur resident, after burgling his neighbour’s house, took him to the police station himself and helped him lodge a complaint. The police, however, saw through his act and arrested him while he was fleeing the city with the stolen valuables.

According to Trombay police, the complainant, Ramesh Mahato (34) who lives in the Panjrapole area in Chembur, said after he left for work on September 15 his wife stepped out as well to run errands, leaving the front door of their house ajar for a while. When she returned, she saw that her gold chain worth 30,000 and 50,000 in cash were missing from the house. She immediately informed Mahato, who rushed back home.

“When Mahato returned home, his next-door neighbour, Santosh Shinde (29), told him that he should file an FIR of burglary immediately. Shinde, playing the helpful neighbour, brought him to the police station and stayed on till the crime was registered. He told Mahato that he should be free to call him anytime he needed help,” said police sub inspector Sharad Nanekar, of Trombay police station.

On September 16, Mahato was called by cops for further enquiry on the case. He came alone this time. Police asked him if there had been any prior burglaries or attempts in his house.

“Mahato told us that around four months ago, when he was at his ancestral place with his family, some of his neighbours had called him to report that the lock of his front door had been broken open. At the time Mahato had reached out to Shinde on a video call, requesting him to check if all the valuables in his house were in place. Shinde had confirmed that nothing was amiss, following which he replaced the lock at Mahato’s insistence,” Nanekar said.

This raised cops’ suspicion – Shinde was the only one in the know of things at the Mahato residence. When they called him over to the police station for questioning, Shinde said he was on his way to his ancestral place. He refused to reveal his exact location.

The police got in touch with his service provider, requesting his current cellular location. Based on their input, he was picked up from a bus stop in Chembur. “He was searched on the spot and the gold chain as well as the cash were found in his luggage, after which he was arrested,” said Nanekar.

Shinde has been charged with theft in a house dwelling under the Indian Penal Code and is currently in judicial custody, officers said.

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