GRP arrest gang of four women tricking train passengers and robbing them

Published on Jul 06, 2022 06:36 PM IST
Mumbai: Four women in their 20s, part of a notorious gang robbing long-distance railway passengers of their belongings, were arrested by the government railway police (GRP) crime branch on Wednesday
GRP arrest gang of four women tricking train passengers and robbing them
GRP arrest gang of four women tricking train passengers and robbing them
ByMegha Sood

Mumbai: Four women in their 20s, part of a notorious gang robbing long-distance railway passengers of their belongings, were arrested by the government railway police (GRP) crime branch on Wednesday. The modus operandi of these women was to pretend that they were travelling alone and in need of help. They would initiate conversations with people to gain their trust and steal their belongings.

Police officials said the women from Aurangabad would periodically visit Mumbai and board long-distance trains from Dadar or Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT).

GRP crime branch officers said the accused, identified as Priyanka Ajay Bhosle (22), Sumitra Bhosle (25), Raatraani Pawar (24) and Sheela Kale (23), were arrested from Aurangabad and brought to Mumbai where they were presented before the court.

Officers said that the gang members would travel to Mumbai from Aurangabad every two or three days and get off at Dadar or CSMT railway stations. “They would then disperse and board different, random long-distance trains pretending to be travelling alone,” said PI Ashok Holkar from the GRP crime branch.

Holkar said after selecting a target, mostly a woman, and after striking a conversation with the traveller, the arrested women used to quietly open the chains of their purses or bags and steal cash and valuables.

In the past month, the GRP had received many complaints from passengers about the theft of jewellery and cash from their bags and when the police enquired with the complainants, they found that the complainants had been talking to an unknown woman.

“I was getting inside the train when a woman inquired if it was Shatabdi Express. She looked lost, and therefore, I helped her and allowed her to sit on my berth. She then began talking to me and after Thane station, she got up and said she wanted to go to the bathroom, but she never returned. After an hour, when I checked my bag, I realised that cash of 43,000 and my iPhone were missing,” said Shreya Mahesh Kavle (40), who was travelling from Mumbai to Sindhudurg on May 30.

Another passenger, Shobha Dilip Parab (67) approached the police on June 26 and complained that her gold jewellery was missing from her bag after she got off the Janshatabdi Express.

After receiving these complaints, the GRP prepared a special team to track the thieves. With the help of the CCTV footage and the cyber-crime police officers, they identified the pattern of thefts committed by the women and the routes selected by them to escape. “These women often committed thefts and got off at stations after Thane or Kalyan. We kept a watch on every station which was used by these women as their escape routes,” said Holkar.

The GRP crime branch located three members of the gang getting down at Kalyan railway station in the footage of the CCTV cameras installed at the station. They noted that the three women left together on a train from Kalyan. The officers followed the route and further trail of CCTV footage revealed that they got off at Aurangabad. “We then alerted our informers and found out their identity and addresses and arrested the women. They are related and stay nearby,” said a police officer.

Upon questioning the women, they confessed to having committed at least 20 such thefts in the past four months, said the police officer, adding that they have recovered the gold and cash that the women had stolen from Kavle and Parab, valued at around 3 lakh.

“We have arrested the four and are now finding out whether they have more accomplices,” said Holkar who added that all the four women are cousins and learnt how to commit crimes from the elders in the families. The elderly women also have past criminal records and they too were arrested by the GRP for allegedly committing similar crimes in outstation trains.

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