What would you do if you came to an unfamiliar city with dreams of making it, and then lost all your material possessions in one blow? Most people would approach the police after the momentary end-of-the-world sensation. Some would have to eventually return home broken-hearted.
But Ravi Bhagwandas Verma went off on a tangent. Ten years ago, the Gwalior resident had arrived in Mumbai to appear for Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) exams, seeking the post of a Khalasi. But his train was late and Ravi missed the opportunity. “Frustrated, he went to Colaba and roamed around. Finally, he sat down near a shop and dozed off. When he woke up, he discovered that all his luggage was missing,” said Pandhurang Sanas, assistant police inspector of D B Marg police station.
Ravi whose father is the manager of a State Bank of India branch in Gwalior did not have the heart to tell his parents about his misfortune. He decided to return to his hometown after earning some money. “Ravi got a job as a waiter in the Sessions Court canteen where he met a lot of criminals. A few of them hired him to stay on lookout for the police, while they carried out a housebreaking job in Jogeshwari,” said Sanas. But as luck would have it, while the other offenders managed to flee in time, Ravi was caught by the police, and served a two-year jail term.
On being released, he started carrying out robberies and thefts on his own, and later formed a gang that specialised in housebreaking. “We managed to arrest Ravi Verma based on a tip-off and some CCTV footage. He has told us about eight recent cases; he already has thirty cases against his name,” said Milind Kate, sub-inspector of VP Road police station. Verma had settled down in Ambedkar Nagar at Cuffe Parade and had been running a posse that carried out robberies in Khar, Bandra, Girgaon and Lamington Road area.