City thieves love stealing from cops

Week after chain snatchers tried stealing gold chain off addl commissioner's wife, car thieves made away with a jeep allotted to a staffer at commissioner's office

It appears that thieves and robbers in the city are fed up of robbing the aam aadmi and have shifted their focus on a much challenging prey - the policemen.

Right under their noses: Raghdev Bhuvan in Matunga from where the
Bolero was stolen. Pic/santosh Nagwekar

Barely a week after a chain snatcher tried stealing the gold chain worn by Additional Commissioner of Police Qaiser Khalid's wife in broad daylight, yesterday, car thieves made away with a jeep, belonging to Anuradha Venkateshan, a steno at the police commissioner's office. A complaint has been registered at a local police station in Matunga.

While over 5,000 police personnel are still struggling to trace the chain snatcher, yesterday's robbery is sure to have dealt a heavy blow to their morale, other than exposing chinks in the police's armour. According to Venkateshan's complaint, her jeep, given to her by the government to travel from her residence in Matunga to the commissioner's office in Crawford Market, had been stolen.

The theft
"On Monday night, Venkateshan's driver, Chalke, had parked the jeep near a footpath in front of her residence in Raghdev Bhuvan, building, Matunga (East). However, around 2.30 am, when the building watchman Amrutlal Mehta returned from the washroom, he saw three men driving away in the jeep," said a police officer from Matunga police station. Initially, Mehta assumed that either it was Venkateshan or someone from her family who had taken the jeep. However, it was only after Chalke started inquiring about the missing vehicle in the morning, did Mehta realise that the vehicle was stolen. He immediately informed Chalke about the three unidentified thieves, who had made away with the jeep.

When contacted, Venkateshan refused to comment. She lives with her husband and their daughter Renuka (20).

Similar thefts
January 31, 2009: In Kandivli (East), a white Bolero (MH01-YA-3485), allotted to Rajan Gule, senior inspector of Thane ATS (anti-terrorism squad) was stolen.

January 16, 2009: A white Bolero, belonging to the then Additional Director General of Police, Ahmed Javed, was found abandoned a day later after it was stolen, near the Marol fire station in Andheri (East).

November 4, 2008: A Bolero jeep was stolen from the NM Joshi Marg.

February 28, 2007: A Bolero jeep belonging to the Crime Branch was stolen from the police quarters at Kalachowkie.

Fact file
Around 150 high-tech Bolero jeeps worth Rs 4.5 lakh each were allotted to the Mumbai police in 2004, after junking the old vehicles.

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