A 65-year-old woman was tricked into parting with her gold ornaments worth Rs 4 lakh by two conmen posing as police officials in Kothrud.
The two approached the woman and asked her to take off the ornaments she was wearing as there had been an increase in cases of chain-snatching and people posing as police officials in Kothrud. The incident took place near Shivtara housing society and Gananjay society yesterday afternoon.
Oil to remove bangles
The police said the fake policemen applied oil on the woman’s hands to make it easy for her gold bangles to come off and even broke her glass bangles when the gold ones could not be removed smoothly. The ornaments were wrapped in a kerchief and put in a bag.
The victim, Hirabai Sutar, a resident of Springfield society in Kothrud, registered a complaint after she reached home and found the kerchief empty.
“I was returning home after withdrawing pension from the bank and when I was near the Shivtara Housing Society at noon, two people approached me and told me that they were policemen and one of them in an authoritative tone asked me to take off my gold ornaments and keep them in my bag,” Sutar said.
“They told me that they were policemen and asked me whether I was not aware about the increase in cases of chain-snatching and fake policemen duping people in the area. One of them asked me why I was wearing ornaments despite such cases and asked me.”
Making it look real
She said that one of the two persons, a tall and well-built man, asked her whether she read newspapers, in which cases of chain-snatching and fake policemen cheating people were reported on a daily basis. “I told them that I would go home and later take out the ornaments, however they started nagging me and used an authoritative tone.
When they were convincing me to take the ornaments off and keep them inside the bag, one of them even called a person who was standing near a motorcycle at a distance and told him to take off his gold chain. They told him they were policemen and the person also obeyed them and took off the chain around his neck and kept it in a pocket before leaving the place,” Sutar said. She said after seeing others obeying the two, she became ready to take off her gold chain.
“I was wearing gold and glass bangles and told them that I would take off the bangles at home as it was a difficult task, but both the persons told me that they would help me take off the bangles from my hands,” she said. “They brought oil and applied it on both my hands and removed the gold bangles with ease. They even broke my glass bangles while pulling out the gold bangles.”
She said that the two then gave her a handkerchief to keep the ornaments and helped her place the valuables in her bag. “When I reached home and opened the bag, I received a rude shock as there was nothing inside the kerchief,” she said. “I understood that I had been duped by them.”
Police Inspector (Crime) Shrikant Navle of the Kothrud police station said a case was registered against unidentified people under Sections 406 and 420 of the IPC. “We have also shown the victim some pictures of suspects who were earlier arrested in similar cases,” Navle said.
The Kothrud police station, in the jurisdiction of which there have been the most chain-snatching incidents in the city, also tops the charts when it comes to incidents of fake policemen duping people. Navle said they had been sensitising people in their jurisdiction about such tactics of conmen, who pose as policemen to make away with gold ornaments. Navle said such conmen usually approach unaccompanied women over the age of 60 on the road.
On the prowl
He said a few days ago a woman was duped by two people in a similar fashion. “These two fake cops told the women that a wealthy man was distributing sarees in the next chowk and asked her to take off her gold as she might not get sarees if she looked well-off.
He said that by pretending to help the women keep their ornaments in the kerchief, the conmen skilfully pocket the gold and make themselves scarce.