Mumbai man steals 5 mobile phones in 10 minutes on train, commuter catches him at Kurla | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Mumbai man steals 5 mobile phones in 10 minutes on train, commuter catches him at Kurla

Spike in mobile thefts in Mumbai local trains this year; accused is part of a larger gang

mumbai Updated: Oct 05, 2017 12:52 IST
Megha Sood
 A railway commuter caught a mobile thief red-handed in a crowded train in Kurla during rush hour
 A railway commuter caught a mobile thief red-handed in a crowded train in Kurla during rush hour(HT FILE)

 A railway commuter caught a mobile thief red-handed in a crowded train in Kurla during rush hour. The accused had already stolen five mobile phones within 10 minutes of the journey from Chembur to Kurla before he was caught, the police said.

The police found three mobiles in the accused’s possession, and he confessed to having passed two others to his gang members in the crowd. The accused has been identified as Sayyed Hasnuddin, 45.

Railway Police Force (RPF) officials from Kurla said that on Tuesday evening, commuter Durga Prasad Singh had gone to Chembur for work and boarded a harbour-line train to Kurla at 7.45pm. As he was getting off the train, he felt someone taking his mobile phone from his side pocket and grabbed the hand, shouting out and alerting other commuters.

As Hasnuddin got into an argument with Singh, other commuters joined in and began questioning the accused. The commotion on the platform attracted RPF officials who then detained Hasnuddin. “We detained and searched him and found two mobile phones on him, but did not find Singh’s phone,” said RPF official Suresh Atri, adding that when questioned, Hasnuddin confessed to the theft and said he had passed Singh’s mobile to an accomplice.

“He told us that the gang travels in crowded trains and steals phones from commuters’ backpacks and pockets and passes them on to other members of his gang who are nearby, so that even if he gets caught and frisked, he can claim that he did not steal the phone,” Atri said. “We are now trying to track down the other gang members.”

RPF officials have handed Hasnuddin over to the Government Railway Police (GRP) officers in Wadala.

Mobile thefts on local trains have recorded a spike recently. Officials said they have been registering 10 to 20 cases of theft every day at each police station on the suburban railway line. Statistics show that 1,284 mobiles were reported stolen on railway premises between January and May this year. In 2016, there were 749 cases during the same period. “Mobile thefts should be reported,” said a GRP official.