Operating in south Mumbai: Thieves distract drivers, steal bags
This is just one of the incidents in south Mumbai, where thieves have stolen bags full of cash and valuables. The thieves would allegedly steal money or valuables and abandoned the stolen bags.Updated: Aug 10, 2015 16:16 IST
In the first week of July, an unattended bag on the Sir Pherozshah Mehta Road sparked panic among the passers-by. They alerted the police, who reached the spot with the bomb squad. The team found a few documents in the bag, which belonged to Subhash Ingale, the deputy commissioner of Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation. Around Rs 70,000 was missing from the bag, which Ingale was to give to a friend, said police.
This is just one of the incidents in south Mumbai, where thieves have stolen bags full of cash and valuables. The thieves would allegedly steal money or valuables and abandoned the stolen bags.
Police say that the gang targets drivers of high-end cars in crowded areas and parking lots. They observe the victim for sometime and when they have found a potential victim, they strike. “It has also been seen that drivers, who are slow to react or are lazy are usually targeted,” an official said.
According to sources, this gang of bag lifters has become a major challenge for police in south Mumbai. More than nine such incidents have been reported in the past few weeks. Those involved in the racket are a gang of about four to five criminals, said police. Police are checking records of known criminals to understand if it is the handiwork of an old gang or new criminals have entered the city.
“Their area of operation is Fort, Horniman Circle, Kala Ghoda, Sir PM Road, P D’Mello road and Crawford market area,” said a senior official, requesting anonymity.
In another incident on July 15, a bag containing Rs60,000 and a licensed revolver was stolen from the car of a renowned Pune builder, who had visited a hotel on P D’Mello Road. The accused distracted the driver by putting 12 notes of Rs10 below his car. While the driver was busy collecting the notes, the accused fled with the bag. A case was registered with the MRA police. An alert citizen found the bag outside Churchgate station. Officers said, the accused had stolen the cash and abandoned the gun.
Additional commissioner of police (south region) Pratap Dighavkar said that they were taking multiple measures to curb bag lifting. However, he claimed the incidents had decreased in comparison to last year. “We have begun a public announcement system to alert people about such incidents and are going to circulate details of the accused along with their photos in the area,” said Dighavkar.