Burglar never let his court visits to Mumbai go without a break-in

Every time the 31-year-old from Pune came to the Mumbai to appear for a hearing, he'd carry out a housebreaking and make off with the loot; he has 200 cases registered against him

Even for a highly motivated burglar, this one kept a very busy schedule. The Property Cell of the Mumbai Crime Branch on Tuesday arrested Nilesh Dattatray Chowgule, who has around 200 housebreaking cases registered against him. The police said the 31-year-old accused from Pune never let his visit to Mumbai for a court hearing go in vain he would unfailingly carry back at least a few stolen souvenirs to his hometown, gleaned from a break-in or two.

The accused Nilesh Chowgule
The accused Nilesh Chowgule

Earlier, the Property Cell officers had arrested two men, Vishwas Kedekar and Naunath Bhoitye, in a housebreaking case. The two revealed the name of their chief, Chowgule, a resident of Anand Nagar, Sinhagad Road, Pune. The police said Chowgule, a record-breaking housebreaker, has around 200 cases registered against him.

“There is not a single police station in Pune that does not have a case against him. On December 15, Chowgule came to Mumbai to make an appearance in Bhoiwada court, and the same day he broke into a computer shop in RAK Marg area and made away with six laptops. The next time he showed up in the city, for a hearing in Sewri court, he escaped after a committing a break-in in Chunnabhatti area,” said Dilip Phulpagare, assistant inspector, Property Cell, Mumbai Crime Branch.

Chowgule is unmarried and his mother and sister stay in Pune. “He has three rickshaws, which he rents out, and collects a daily commission from the drivers. He also owns two flats in Pune, a Maruti and a Ford Ikon. He has cases registered in Pune, Mumbai, Gujarat, Goa and Karnataka,” said assistant inspector Nitin Patil of the Property Cell.

In 2006, when Chowgule came to the city to attend a court hearing, he broke into a shop and fled with cash and valuables worth Rs 1.4 crore. With the money, he bought a flat in Lokhandwala, which ahs been seized by the Matunga police. “Chowgule used to take either his car or the air-conditioned bus from Pune to the city. He’d inform his friends here that he wanted to carry out a job, and they’d meet and commit the crime. If he had a court date in Mumbai, he would invariably return to Pune with some valuables,” said Patil.

Crime pays
>> He has an apartment in Lokhandwala Complex
>> Two in Pune
>> Two cars
>> Three auto rickshaws

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