A 21-year-old history-sheeter, with several cases of chain-snatchings against him, must be thanking officials from Vakola police station for saving his life from an angry auto driver who almost threw him in front of a speeding vehicle on the Western Express Highway yesterday.

Cops taking Abdul Sheikh to the Vakola police station
Cops taking Abdul Sheikh to the Vakola police station

The driver nabbed Abdul Rehman Iqbal Husain Sheikh, a resident of Daulat Nagar in Santacruz, while he was trying to flee from the WEH after snatching a 70-year-old woman’s chain.

Sheikh is allegedly notorious for creating nuisance in these areas and was nabbed by the driver after he fell off the motorcycle he was about to sit pillion on and escape from the spot. The accused is the son of an active political worker in Santacruz, and is said to have been bailed out by his father every time the police have nabbed him.

Dumped by accomplice
Officials from Vakola police station said the victim had just alighted from a bus that had returned from Goa, and had been searching for an auto. Sheikh and his accomplice Arif, who was riding the bike, rode up to the woman, and the former snatched her chain.

After the deed was done, Sheikh rushed to the bike and was about to sit when Arif accelerated. This is when Sheikh was caught unawares and fell off the bike. Despite realising that his accomplice had fallen off the motorcycle, Arif fled the spot for the fear of being caught and thrashed by the public. Arif is a resident of Nallasopara and has several cases of chain-snatching against him, too.

In the nick of time
Hearing the old woman’s cries for help, an auto driver rushed to her rescue and nabbed Sheikh. Irked at being abused by Sheikh, the auto driver bashed him and was about to throw Sheikh under a speeding vehicle when a patrolling van reached the spot. But, the auto driver vanished from the scene before police officials could question him. Sheikh was produced in the Bandra court yesterday and was remanded in police custody.

An officer from Vakola police station said, “Most of the locals and auto drivers in the area have been by harassed by the accused. It was this anger that must have propelled the auto driver to take this drastic step. Sheikh is a big nuisance in the area and has several chain-snatching cases against him in Vakola, Vile Parle, Juhu, Santacruz, Nirmal Nagar and Kherwadi police stations.”