Crime branch busts two pick-pocketing gangs, arrest eight

Published on Oct 19, 2022 12:44 AM IST

Mumbai In two separate operations, the crime branch unit of Mumbai police busted two gangs involved in at least 50 pick-pocketing and mobile thefts leading to the arrest of eight gang members

Crime branch busts two pick-pocketing gangs, arrest eight
Crime branch busts two pick-pocketing gangs, arrest eight
ByManish K Pathak

Mumbai In two separate operations, the crime branch unit of Mumbai police busted two gangs involved in at least 50 pick-pocketing and mobile thefts leading to the arrest of eight gang members. The accused carried out these crimes mainly on BEST buses across the city. According to police officials, each arrested accused is involved in multiple cases.

The first gang was busted by the Property Cell attached to the crime branch while investigating a theft case registered with the LT Marg police station in May this year for allegedly stealing cash of 50,000 from one Atul Shah (51), when he was traveling on a BEST bus.

Five members of the gang boarded the bus when it reached Crawford Market. While four of the accused diverted the attention of the victim, the fifth clandestinely removed the cash from his pocket, revealed Property Cell police inspector Shashikant Pawar.

The accused were identified through CCTV installed in the BEST bus. Based on the footage, the Property Cell identified three - Ramzan Salim Sayyed alias Kadya (30), Irshad Isaq Sayyad alias Sheru (37) and Ashraf Mukim Shaikh (35). The trio was arrested from Mankhurd area where they live.

During interrogation, they revealed that they involved in theft of mobile phones and purses on BEST buses in Chembur, Ghatkopar, Vikhroli, Mulund, Andheri, Powai, Borivali and Kandivali and south Mumbai in the past as well.

On further investigation the police uncovered a total 17 cases of pickpocketing registered only at the Aarey police station in the last few months and suspect that most crimes were committed by the arrested accused. While only one case was registered with the LT Marg police station.

Explaining their modus operandi, the officer said the gang mostly travel in groups of four to five members. They do not communicate in the bus but maintain eye contact with each other and after identifying a “target”. Two or three members then divert the target’s attention, while others steal his or her mobile phone/purse. They would then get off at different bus stops to avoid suspicion said Pawar.

The trio is remanded to police custody by a local court.

A similar gang was busted on Monday when Unit 12 of the crime branch arrested five of its members, identified as Rajaram Ramdas Patil (40), involved in 13 cases, Sanjay Prabhakar Trimbake (45), who has allegedly committed 11 offences and Mahadev Vasant Mane alias Madhya (35), against whom nine cases are registered.

Abdul Qadar Shaha (50) and Mohd Rafiq Vakil Shaikh (44) are said to be relatively new to the gang and have 4/5 cases registered against them.

All the five were arrested from Omkareshwar Mandir BEST bus stop in Borivali East.

The police have recovered five stolen mobile phones and a cutter which they used for stealing purses and flicking mobiles. Sangramsing Nishandar, deputy commissioner of police, crime branch said all five accused are history-sheeters.

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