Mumbai police arrest three men for stealing laptops passengers in Mumbai-Pune bus
Police arrested Tanvir Choudhary, 30, Mansoor Rajput, 32, both from Uttar Pradesh and Hasan Qureshi, a resident of Bhendi Bazaar, on the route on Monday while they were flicking bags at Lonavala, which is a halt.mumbai Updated: Aug 09, 2017 00:14 IST
A 32-year-old man travelling from Mumbai to Pune in a Shivneri bus saw the person sitting next to him using a laptop, which was the same as his. He told the man that he had the same device and received a smile in return. After this, the co-passenger shut the laptop, put it in his bag and got off at the next stop. On reaching Pune, the 35-year-old found that his own laptop was missing. It was then that he realised that the laptop that the co-passenger was working on was his.
The 32-year-old is not the only one who lost his laptop in a Shivneri bus. Around 17 others have approached the Matunga police and the Pune police complaining about their laptops being stolen. The common factor: All of them lost the gadgets while commuting on Shivneri buses.
After the Matunga police received the latest complaint on July 15, it prepared a team of three officers who found that there 83 Shivneri buses ply between Pune and Mumbai daily. They arrested Tanvir Choudhary, 30, Mansoor Rajput, 32, both from Uttar Pradesh and Hasan Qureshi, a resident of Bhendi Bazaar, on the route on Monday while they were flicking bags at Lonavala, which is a halt.
“The officers studied the pattern of the thefts and found that all of them took place during peak hours,” said N Ambika, deputy commissioner of police (zone IV).
The team travelled from Mumbai to Pune and back for 15 days, hoping for a lead.
Inspector Dnyaneshwar Kharmate of the Matunga police said that the trio has confessed to 17 thefts so far.
“They have been stealing laptops for three to four months now. For each laptop, they would get Rs7,000 that they would split amongst themselves,” said inspector Vijaykumar Ambarge.
“The three targeted Shivneri buses as the passengers are normally well to do and many carry laptops to offices in Mumbai,” added Ambika.
The modus operandi was simple. The three either robbed commuters early in the morning or late in the evening. They would buy bus tickets in a way so that their seats were far apart. When the buses stopped at the food court at Lonavala, they checked the bags on the overhead luggage shelf for laptops. On finding such a bag, they would wait until the owner fell asleep.
“The passengers normally take a nap after eating. This is when one of them would open the laptop bag and pass the device to his accomplice, who then transferred it into his own bag. The three would get off at the very next stop,” said inspector Asmita Bhosle.
Qureshi used to buy the stolen laptops from the other two and give them Rs7,000 to 10,000 for each. The police have recovered laptops worth Rs5.40 lakh from the trio and are now looking for other gang members. Police suspect involvement of two others in the thefts.
First Published: Aug 09, 2017 00:14 IST