An alert auto driver ran for about 15 minutes, on a busy station road on a morning last week, to catch up with a thief running away with a woman’s gold chain.
According to the police, around 11.30 am on Thursday, the accused, identified as Nitin Umashankar Sharma, grabbed the gold chain from around a 51-year-old woman’s neck while she was shopping at the market outside Mankhurd station. The passers-by raised an alarm, as the accused began scurrying away.
It was then that Ramakant Jagannath Dabole (35), who was driving by in his auto, heard the chaos, hurriedly parked his rickshaw by the side of the road and started chasing the accused.
Policemen say that Dabole gave chase from Mankhurd station road till BARC colony, caught Sharma at Krantiveer Lahuji Salve Road, and took him to the police station.
In his statement to the police, Dabole said, “I was passing by when the incident took place and I just left my auto rickshaw and ran behind the accused.”
The police team recovered the chain from Sharma. While the chain’s owner, Seema Gautam Bhaumik, said it was worth Rs 51,000, police’s assessment puts the value at Rs 36,000. Cops explained that some part of the chain might have broken and fallen during the snatching.
Sharma has been booked under section 392 (robbery) of the Indian Penal Code and has been remanded in police custody till October 14.
According to officials, Sharma appears to have been driven to commit the crime due to some trying situation, as he does not have a past record of such offences.
Senior Inspector Prasad Manohar Dhariya from Trombay police station said, “Sharma swore that this was the first time he had done such a thing. There might be some circumstances that forced him to steal the chain, as we couldn’t find any history of such offences against him.”