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Uttar Pradesh gang of five who broke in to 37 homes in Mumbai, Thane and Gujarat arrested

They would target houses on the way to Mumbai from Uttar Pradesh, said the police.

mumbai Updated: Jul 27, 2017 01:36 IST
Megha Sood
Megha Sood
Hindustan Times
Uttar Pradesh,Mumbai,house break-ins

A woman from Chembur had gone to buy vegetables outside her building for a few minutes in April. When she returned she saw that her house was ransacked and her gold jewellery missing. Another woman in Shivaji Nagar went to her daughter’s school to pick her up and when she returned she found her house robbed.

For the past one year, the Mumbai and Thane police were getting regular complaints of house break-ins within minutes by unknown thieves.

After months of investigation and rounding up several history sheeters, the Tilak Nagar police found just one witness. He told the police that the robbers were dressed in jeans and t-shirts and had sunglasses. He said that the men got out of a Swift Desire and seemed to be guests at a house. However they left the building within 10 minutes, said the witness. “We only knew that they drove a Swift Desire,” said inspector Santosh Kamble from Tilak Nagar police station.

A team of three officers were then assigned to investigate the series of house break-ins. The officers, including PI Avinash Pore and PSI Amol Ambawane, found that the car that the robbers used had a number plate of a bullet bike from Meerut. The informers told the officers that this gang was from Meerut and travelled by car from Uttar Pradesh to Mumbai. The gang would stop on the way to Mumbai and break in to houses. “The Meerut gang only chose two- or three-storey houses for a quick escape,” said Shahaji Umap, deputy commissioner of police (zone VI). After finding out that the men had rented an apartment in Mumbra, the police team searched the house to find their clothes and other belongings. “The five had rented an expensive apartment, saying that they were engineers and had to travel a lot. They did so to avoid staying at lodges and hotels,” added Umap.

The team then left for UP on July 5 where they traced the five people who stayed in Meerut and Bulandshahr. After waiting for 12 days and following the five, the police officers arrested them when they gathered at Meerut on Monday to begin their journey to Mumbai. The five identified as Imran Qureshi, 24, Afsal Qureshi, 27, Shahid Shaikh, 35, Sameer Ali, 26, driver, and Irfan Alvi, 35, have allegedly carried out 12 robberies in Mumbai and 25 in Thane and Gujarat.

“Although they were school drop outs they had made all arrangements to escape arrest. On searching their car, we found cavities underneath the gear box and steering wheel where they used to stash valuables so that they don’t get caught at nakabandis,’ said Umap. The gang has been arrested for the first time.

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First Published: Jul 27, 2017 01:36 IST