Ek gear neeche toh Mumbai mere peeche. (I put one gear down and the entire city follows me).
Whatever this phrase that was painted at the back of a motorcycle implies, it definitely meant the undoing of the two riders who used the bike to snatch bags and valuables from passing commuters.
Nadeem Nasir Khan (22) and his accomplice Parvej Guddu Ansari (24) were arrested by the Jogeshwari police on Wednesday for robbing commuters on the Western Express Highway. The cops used a victim’s testimony, which spoke of this distinctive phrase written on the bike, to nail the duo.
According to officials, Khan and Ansari, residents of Nalasopara and Mira Road, used to speed past vehicles, almost grazing them, to grab valuables from passengers. As soon as their target would stop at a signal or slow down, the bike’s pillion rider would snatch their bag or phone and speed away.
Last week, a 30-year-old resident of Vile Parle, Purva Parekh approached the Jogeshwari police. She lodged a complaint against two motorcycle-borne robbers, who had snatched her bag while she was in an auto rickshaw near Ismail Yusuf College on the highway at Jogeshwari. She said her bag contained her wallet, cash, debit card, credit card, mobile phone and some important documents.
Senior Inspector Vitthal Damgude of Jogeshwari police station said, “We began investigating the case. The complainant was unable to note the licence number of the motorcycle but she had seen a peculiar phrase below the number plate,” said Bhosle.
The police alerted their informers and also began tracking Parekh’s phone. “On Monday, we traced the phone’s location to a Nalasopara motorcycle service centre. We found the bike with the same phrase printed below the number plate and arrested Khan,” a police officer said.
“Khan revealed that the duo worked for different service centres in the area and used the motorcycles that came for servicing for the crime. After committing the robbery, the two would go to another service centre and use another vehicle. We have recovered the entire booty from Khan’s residence,” said Bhosle.
Khan and Ansari have cases registered against them in 13 police stations across the city including Samta Nagar, Vikhroli, Dindoshi, Andheri among others for bag snatching and robbery on the western and eastern express highways.