The Bund Garden police have arrested seven people, including five women, involved in several cases of bag-lifting and pick-pocketing in PMPML buses and at several crowded spots near the Pune railway station.
Following several complaints and description provided by the victims, the gang was arrested from Pune railway station a week ago. Upon interrogation, they confessed to the crime.
Those arrested have been identified as Rina Kale (19), Asha Kale (25), Tanaji Kale (27), Dhanu Kasabe (25), Bhagyashree Kasabe (25), Varsha Sharma (20) and Chetan Sharma.
According to police, all the seven crooks are related to each other and that they even used kids to execute the crime. Besides, the mother of two of the five women was also a pickpocket in Solapur district.
Explaining how the gang functioned, Satish Nikam, PI (crime) of Bund Garden police station, said, “They used to board crowded PMPML buses. The women used carry a small kid and would stand behind the prospective prey.
They would then push the person from behind, however the person wouldn’t react seeing the kid with them. When they would understand that the person wouldn’t react to pushing, the women would swiftly make away with his valuables and immediately used it to pass their accomplice standing behind her.”
He added that they would pass the valuable to each other and finally the man standing close to the door would take it and get off the bus. “If there would find out that he has been robbed, and would check the woman behind him, he wouldn’t find thing.
The police have also arrested a cold drinks vendor named Ashok Havale (50). A resident of Tadiwala Road, Havale was on the payroll of the gang and used to update the crooks about the police patrolling in the Pune station area and would even tip them off about the crowd near the bus stops and other several places. “Havale used to get Rs 300 for every tip and information,” said Nikam.
According to police, the accused have committed about 10 such crimes. “We have recovered gold ornaments worth Rs 7.5 lakh and one sport bike worth Rs 1 lakh from the suspects. We suspect that they may have used the money they earned from stealing to purchase the bike,” Nikam said.