Three men came to the vendor and told him they had bought his two-wheeler in Manchar and wanted its documents; after he told them the scooter had been stolen and he had filed a case, they left; when he told a cop about this, he allegedly demanded the money
A scooter owned by a flower vendor gets stolen, and a month later, three unknown people arrive from Pune asking for its RC (registration certificate) book. This is the bizarre situation Vikas Surve (54) had to face recently. Surve is a flower vendor from Sion and had bought the two-wheeler for Rs 64,000 in February.
Vikas Surve points to the spot outside his house from where the scooter was stolen. Pic/Suresh KK
On October 21, the vehicle was stolen from outside his Prateeksha Nagar home. Surve searched high and low for his vehicle in the neighbourhood. When he couldn’t locate it, he approached the Wadala Truck Terminal police station. “An assistant police inspector, H B Todkar, registered a case under Section 379 (theft) of the Indian Penal Code and asked me to check if the bike was around the area,” Surve recalled.
On Friday, three men from Pune, claiming to be brothers, approached Surve, and gave him his cell phone, which he had kept in the storage compartment of the scooter that had got stolen. They then asked for the scooter’s RC book. Surve told them that his bike had been stolen and a case had also been registered with the police.
“The trio panicked and claimed they had bought the bike for Rs 10,000 from someone in Manchar near Pune,” the vendor said. When Surve asked for the phone number of the man who had allegedly sold them the vehicle, the trio refused to divulge it, saying the seller would harm them if they did so, and left.
“The men claimed they bought the vehicle on October 23, two days after it was stolen. They have been calling me to come and take my scooter from Manchar, but I am scared they will kill me because a case has been registered,” said Surve, who suspects it is the trio itself who are the thieves.
Surve then approached API Todkar at the police station, asking for help in recovering his vehicle. “The police told me that it would cost me R3,000 to R4,000 as fees for taking along an officer and two constables to Manchar,” he said.
The other side
API Todkar, when contacted by this reporter, flatly denied asking for any money. He told mid-day, “I am wondering how to go about making the arrest and how to get the vehicle back — whether to drive it back to Mumbai or get it in a truck.”