A taste for expensive clothes and gadgets has led to the arrest of a Baroda-based man, after he duped a jeans store in Borivli to the tune of Rs 17,300.

Ramesh Thadaram Motwani hails from Baroda, but would regularly strike shops in Mumbai, Thane and Pune
Ramesh Thadaram Motwani hails from Baroda, but would regularly strike shops in Mumbai, Thane and Pune

Cops discovered this was a regular practice with the man, who would scout branded stores and select items he liked, but when the time came to pay for them, he would pretend to have forgotten his wallet at home.

He would tell the owners that he lived nearby and then ask them if they would deliver the goods and collect the money there itself. The accused, identified as Ramesh Thadaram Motwani (49), resides at Suncity Tower in Manzalpur, Baroda, but regularly strikes shops across Mumbai, Thane and Pune, said the police.

However, this only came to light on August 20, when he tried the same trick at a Pepe Jeans store in Borivli. He shopped for clothes worth Rs 17,300 but didn’t pay for them.

He told the store manager that he had forgotten his wallet at home, just four buildings away. At first he said he would go back and bring his wallet, but once he had left, he called the store again to request that the clothes be delivered instead.

Smooth operator
The police said that Motwani was always well-dressed and well-spoken, and so shopkeepers believed him easily. The manager at Pepe Jeans was also fooled, and he sent an errand boy to deliver the jeans to the address given by Motwani.

He met the errand boy at the building’s gate, took the shopping bag for him and told him to wait right there, while he went home and brought the money downstairs. The errand boy kept waiting, but Motwani never returned. He had already left the area.

When the boy went upstairs to the flat Motwani had claimed was his, he learnt that nobody had lived there in months. The boy immediately informed the shop manager, who complained to the Borivli police.

By tracking the mobile phone he had used to call the store, the police found Motwani and nabbed him in Ahmedabad. During interrogation, he confessed to several similar acts of fraud. Cops also suspect that he would sell some of the stolen items for profit.

Cop speak
“We arrested him from Ahmedabad after tracing his mobile’s location. He has been arrested for cheating and theft,” said assistant police inspector GS Gharge from Borivli police station.