Mumbai: Cop spent three days hunting for his stolen shoes

A Buldhana constable’s shoes worth Rs 4,000 were stolen outside Haji Ali in November; Tardeo cops recently recovered them and have arrested the suspect

On the first day of November, when Constable Manoj Kunte from Buldhana came to Mumbai with his family, he excitedly whipped out his shiny new pair of a pricey brand of shoes he had been saving them for an occasion and put them on to go to Haji Ali.

Early in November, Buldhana’s Constable Kunte loses his footing after someone steps into his shoes at Haji Ali and struts off. Illustrations/Amit Bandre
Early in November, Buldhana’s Constable Kunte loses his footing after someone steps into his shoes at Haji Ali and struts off. Illustrations/Amit Bandre

As is the custom, he took off his footwear outside the shrine. But when he came back, he found them, as is also custom, gone. Glancing at his bare feet, he thought of the Rs 4,000 he had shelled out for his Woodland shoes and determined to hunt down the pilferer. He rushed to Tardeo police, and insisted that the cops register a theft case.

He goes to Tardeo police station and, after four hours, convinces cops to lodge a case of shoe theft
He goes to Tardeo police station and, after four hours, convinces cops to lodge a case of shoe theft

For the following three days, he stayed in the city in the hope of smelling the thief’s trail back to his shoes, even as his well-shod family members abandoned him to his devices and made their way home. However, three days later, coming up a cropper, he gave up the chase and boarded a train to Vadodara.

Kunte helps investigate the case himself, but three days later, gives up and leaves the city
Kunte helps investigate the case himself, but three days later, gives up and leaves the city

But he must have done something right, for the Tardeo police has accomplished the unlikely and found his shoes, along with the man who had conveniently stepped into them on that November day and strutted off. Kunte, who is attached to Mehkar police station in Buldhana, said, “I arrived in Mumbai on October 30 with my relatives.

Tardeo police, though, tap their informers and manage to find the thief as well as the shoes
Tardeo police, though, tap their informers and manage to find the thief as well as the shoes

I had bought my shoes for Rs 4,000 from a market in Vadodara. As the shoes were very costly, I decided that I would wear them only on occasions, and thought I’d put them on during the visit to Mumbai.

He’s got some new shoes on: The accused, Mohommad Farid Khan (19) was arrested from Madanpura
He’s got some new shoes on: The accused, Mohommad Farid Khan (19) was arrested from Madanpura

“On the second day, when I went to see Haji Ali with my family we were some 10-12 people all of us removed our shoes near a coconut tree, but when we came back, we saw that only my new Woodland shoes were missing.”

An officer from Tardeo police station, requesting anonymity, said, “The constable came to the police station and sat for more than four hours to get his shoe theft case registered, and after we recorded the offence, he was involved in the investigations as well.”

While the constable was hot on the trail of his thief, his kin got fed up of his obsession and left for Vadodara the next day, leaving him to find his dear soles. However, on November 4, he too caught a 12 pm train out of the city to join them. Senior Inspector Nagesh Jadhav of Tardeo police station told mid-day.

“We have recovered the constable’s shoes worth R4,000. The accused, Mohommad Farid Khan, was arrested from the Madanpura area after a tip-off from our local informers.” Khan has been booked under IPC section 379 (theft) and was remanded in police custody. Kunte has been informed about the recovery and asked to collect his shoes, which are not so new any more.

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