Mumbai choreographer turns to theft to finance own dance academy, arrested

The Mumbai woman would travel by crowded trains on the CSMT-Ghatkopar stretch and steal purses of fellow commuters

mumbai Updated: Jan 25, 2018 21:47 IST
Megha Sood
Megha Sood
Hindustan Times
choreographer,stealing,robbery
The accused confessed to withdrawing money using the ATM cards of those whose personal identification numbers were found in their purses.(Photo for representation only)

Mumbra resident Arifa Almas Khan, 25, who worked as choreographer on a popular TV reality show, had one dream – to start a dance academy. But stealing, the step that landed her in jail on Monday, may now throw her life out of sync.

Khan, the eldest of five siblings and a Class 10 dropout, taught at dance schools in Andheri and Shivaji Park. Her purse was stolen once during her travel on a Mumbai suburban local. After this incident, according to the police, Khan thought of stealing on local trains to collect money for her academy.

Santosh Dhanwate, inspector in charge of railway crime branch, said, “She started to travel by crowded trains on the CSMT-Ghatkopar stretch and steal purses of fellow commuters. Khan confessed to withdrawing money using ATM cards of those whose personal identification numbers were found in their purses.”

Last week, the railway crime branch received complaints of thefts in a Kalyan-bound train. Four women also complained that money was withdrawn from their accounts using the ATM cards in their stolen bags.

The police then started to scan the CCTV footage of railway premises, but the crowds made it tough to identify the thief, said Dhanwate. They then checked the footage of ATM centres from where money was withdrawn and identified Khan.

“After getting Khan’s photo, we laid a trap at Ghatkopar railway station, where most of the thefts took place,” said Dhanwate.

On Monday, the police found Khan alighting from a local train at Ghatkopar and caught her.

First Published: Jan 25, 2018 21:47 IST