Catch me if you can

Thief gives cops the slip thrice before his cockiness leads to his downfall; 22-yr-old stole laptops, documents from his roommates and blackmailed them

Integrity and honesty are two qualities that the men in uniform swear by. And they would vouch for the fact that it passes on to their children as well. However, 22-yr-old Sukhbir Singh (see pic), son of an ex-serviceman, turned out to be an exception.

Not only did Sukhbir steal his roommates laptops and marksheets, but also tried to blackmail them into coughing up Rs 1 lakh in exchange of the stolen booty. His roommates went to the police and lodged a complaint, however Sukhbir was able to give the cops the slip, not once but on three occasions. He was finally nabbed on the fourth attempt from a cheap hotel in Byculla.

The case
According to the police, last month, Singh, a native of Punjab, took admission at ACIT Education, located at Gabriel Road in Mahim to pursue IT Networking. He was put up at a flat in Mahim provided by the institution and was supposed to share it with four others.

"It had just been two days since all five of them started living together. On Tuesday, when his roommates, Mohammad Imran, Abhishek Singh, Pavankumar and Vikram Pratap Singh went out for lunch, Sukhbir made away with their laptops and marksheets," said Bhagwan Kadam, API of Mahim police station.

Sukhbir then called Mohammad and asked him to deposit Rs 1 lakh in his bank account in return for their marksheets and laptops. Mohammad then approached the Mahim police and lodged a complaint against Sukhbir.

The escapes
Acting on Mahim police's advice, Mohammad negotiated with Sukhbir and finally agreed to pay him Rs 50,000. Post-negotiations, Sukhbir asked Mohammad to meet him at Andheri station. However, Sukhbir fled the spot when he noticed that cops flanked Mohammad. He fled to Dadar and deposited the marksheets with the Dadar GRP, stating that he had found them in the train.

"Sukhbir then called up Mohammad and told him he knew that we were with him at Andheri. He even told him that cops couldn't even touch him and asked him to come to Borivli station. Hoping that we would nab him this time, we dispatched a two-member team of Constables Hemkant Bagul and Atmaram Rane along with Mohammad, but somehow Sukhbir once again managed to escape. On the third occasion, he asked all his roommates to meet him at Dadar, but he never showed up," added Kadam.

The arrest
Fed up of the cat and mouse game, the cops traced Sukhbir's call and discovered that he was hiding in Byculla. "Since we knew that he wasn't rich and would select cheaper hotels and lodges to put up, we started combing such places. After searching a couple of hotels, we nabbed him from Welcome Hotel," said Bagul.

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