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Police bust Mumbai gang that used minors to commit theft, robbery

Arrest two, detain three minors; search on for gang leader

mumbai Updated: May 29, 2018 00:15 IST
Faisal Tandel
Faisal Tandel
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,minor,gang
The police arrested two people after getting hold of three minors who supplied them with information about the duo.(HT FILE)

The Shahunagar police have busted a gang that allegedly used minors for committing mobile thefts and house robberies. The police have arrested two adults in this connection. They also detained three minors.

The arrested accused have been identified as Riyaz Shaikh, 22 and Tony Shabiya, 30. The police are looking for Wasim alias Mona, the leader of the gang.

Preliminary investigation has revealed that Shaikh and Shabiya used to sell the gold ornaments stolen from houses and stolen mobiles and pay between Rs5,000 to Rs10,000 to the minors, who are drug addicts.

According to the police, the accused broke into the house of Aftab Shaikh, a garments shop owner, in Mahim in March. The police said 80 grams gold ornaments and some cash were stolen from Shaikh’s house. Shahunagar police registered a case in this connection and was investigating the same. CCTV footage of the nearby area showed many accused entering the building on the date of the incident.

Tukaram Dige, police sub-inspector attached to Shahunagar police station, said they got information about a minor who was active in the area and who also had a criminal record. He said when the police caught hold of the minor, he spilled the beans about two other minors – aged 15 and 16.

From the trio, the police got information about one of the gang leaders -- Riyaz Shaikh, from Behrampada in Bandra (East). “Earlier they confused us by claiming they were falsely implicated in the case, but later we checked their location using call data records and got confirmation that they were at the spot at the time of the incident,” said an official.

The minors have been sent to Dongri observation home, while Shaikh was in police custody.

While probing the case, the police found that the minors used to commit theft inside trains and on footpaths by snatching mobile phones from people or by simply taking away the cell phones of people sleeping on footpaths, at railway stations or in gardens. All of them have cases registered against them at Nirmal Nagar and Kherwadi police stations and also stations within the jurisdiction of Government Railway Police (GRP).

“After interrogating the minors, we got a clue about Wasim alias Mona, the leader of the gang who used to sell all valuables stolen by the gang and we are trying to trace him,” said another police official.

From the call data records of Mona and the minors, the police also arrested Tony Shabiya, a Bandra resident who had allegedly been purchasing the stolen cell phones and gold ornaments from Mona for the past 18 months. The police recovered around 40 grams gold from Shabiya. Dige said Mona’s arrest is likely to help the police crack several other theft cases.

First Published: May 29, 2018 00:15 IST