Agents of the law can break it too. A lawyer has been arrested by officers of the Mumbai Crime Branch for allegedly stealing motorcycles from various areas in the state.
The lawyer, identified as Shrikant Mishra (39), is known as Maharaj in the Andheri and Dindoshi courts. Officers from Crime Branch Unit IX have recovered five motorcycles from him.
Mishra had a unique modus operandi. He would buy two-wheelers that are seized by banks when the customer is unable to repay the loans they take. “These motorcycles are mostly used as scrap, so he would get them for Rs 2,000-3,000. After replacing the engine and other parts with those that belonged to the motorcycles he had robbed, he would sell the bikes for over Rs 20,000 each,” said an officer. Mishra would also scrape off the engine numbers using a chisel.
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Yesterday, the police intercepted Mishra at Oshiwara and asked to see the documents of the bike he was riding. They had received a tip-off that Mishra was using one of his stolen motorcycles.
Mishra said that he had forgotten the papers and promised to bring them back. “We realised that Mishra was lying and opened the side box of the motorcycle to find a hammer and a chisel,” said a Crime Branch officer.
The officers then nabbed Mishra and arrested him after intimating the Oshiwara police. Investigations led to the revelation that Mishra had five stolen motorcycles stashed in his residence at Poonam Apartments near Orlem Church in Malad (West).
Mishra was arrested under Section 41 (d) of the CrPC, as he was found in possession of a robbed motorcycle. Mishra was presented in court yesterday, and remanded to judicial custody.
The cops added that Mishra had been arrested in Malad for the same offence in 2011. In his statement, Mishra passed the buck onto another man, who he claimed robs the bikes and sells them to him at a cheaper rate, after changing the number plate and engine number. “Since the plates were changed, we have to find out from where the bikes were robbed. We have already found out that one of them was stolen from Pen,” said the officer.
In November 2011, Vivek Sarvadhi, a resident of Malad (West), filed an FIR after his motorcycle got stolen from the area. Later that month, while he was passing the road near Orlem Church in Malad (West), he saw his motorcycle parked there, thanks to a telltale sticker on the petrol tank. The motorcycle had an Uttarakhand licence plate.
Sarvadhi approached the cops, who went to the spot, made enquiries with the owner, and obtained Mishra’s address. On reaching Mishra’s house and searching the premises, they found insurance and other documents for five cars and three motorcycles. “We suspect the documents are fake,” said the officer.