Cops scan CCTV footage at Bandra marriage hall to find a boy and a girl decamping with the money
A gang of pre-teen thieves, who target wedding functions, are on the prowl in Bandra. They A CCTV camera installed at one of the wedding venues on Friday recorded two children from the gang in action, stealing cash and gifts amounting to well over Rs 2 lakh.
These two kids, aged around 10, hid their faces at most times, trying not to disclose their identity
Zafar Ahmed, a Bandra-based businessman, had booked the Mahatma Gandhi Hall in Bandra(W) for his daughter’s wedding. He was shocked when, going through the CCTV footage later, he saw two children — a girl and a boy — picking up cash and jewels and escaping.
“They took away the money that I was supposed to give my daughter as a gift and also the payment to be made to the caterers,” said Ahmed. After the function, when they had to hand over the money to the caterer the family realised that the money bag was missing from the stage, where they had kept it.
“The money was kept on the stage behind the bride and the groom, when the reception was going on,” said Nadim, the son-in-law of Zafar Ahmed. The marriage begun at 7.30 pm and the duo entered the spot at 8.27 pm and left from the venue at 10.40 pm according to the CCTV footage.
The two kids, aged around 10, hid their faces at most times, trying not to disclose their identity. In one sequence the girl is seen covering her face with a green balloon and the boy covering his face with his hand. Towards the end, the boy picks up the money bag and walks out of the gate with the girl following him. The children are still at large. Following a police complaint, a hunt is on to trace the duo.
A police officer from Bandra police station said, “We have registered the case under Section 379 (theft) and searching for the accused.” The officer further added, “Several such incidents have taken place in the past few months. Family members should take extra care of their valuables during weddings. There are many such gangs still operating in the city.”
Very recently, a mobile phone was robbed in Vile Parle (E) where cops scanned CCTV images to find two adults accompanied by a child engaged in the theft. The men kept the salesmen engaged in discussion while the child stole the shop manager’s mobile phone which was lying near the billing counter.
Cops said recent instances of CCTV footages from weddings at Sea Princess, Ramada and Mandapam also show juveniles picking up cash and valuables. The police think a gang of children are being trained by some people to carry out these series of thefts and robberies.
MiDDAY had carried an article in January 2013 of a six-year-old child who had been trained by his parents to gatecrash wedding parties and decamp with money.