Mumbai: 'Corporator' chats up 'old friend', replaces gold chain with fake one

A security guard on his way to work was stopped by a man in Santacruz (East) who said he was the local corporator, and also insisted they were friends

If you hadn’t paid particular attention to the corporators in Mumbai, it’s time to update your knowledge, lest you be fleeced by a fake corporator, as a security guard found out the hard way.

A gang of four men allegedly cheated the 56-year-old man saying one of them was the local corporator from Santacruz East and took off with Rs 180 from his wallet and his gold chain worth Rs 35,000.

Mumbai crime: Gold chain theft

The incident took place in the afternoon at the busy Nehru Road, a stone’s throw from the Santacruz railway station last week. The guard was on his way to Kotak Mahindra Bank for his second shift duty.

On the day of the incident, the guard Dhananjay Sitaram Deulkar, a resident of Bangur Nagar in Goregaon (West), was going to his workplace, when a person between 30-35 years approached him and asked in a friendly way, “Kya pehchana ya nahi?” (Did you recognise me?). When Deulkar said no, the man said he was the corporator of the area and his name was Patil.

Later, the man said “Abhi tu bada aadmi ban gaya hai mujhe kya pehchanega?” (Now you have become a big man, why would you recognise me?). After chatting with Deulkar for a while, the man offered him a cup of tea.

Police said that as per the gang’s modus operandi, another man, who was a member of the gang, came and saluted the man with Deulkar, to make the victim feel sure that the impostor was a real corporator. After two minutes, another man, who was also a member of the same gang, came and saluted the impostor, and two minutes later, a third man arrived and touched the feet of the impostor and took his ‘blessings’.

After this drama, Deulkar was sure the impostor before him was the real corporator. After taking him to a nearby tea shop, the fake corporator asked him if he had money in his wallet. When Deulkar said yes, very quickly the impostor took his wallet and taking R180 from it, gave it back.

Later, seeing the gold chain around Deulkar’s neck the impostor asked him to remove it, saying he does not like seeing a close friend wearing a very thin chain. Taking the ornament from Deulkar, he put it in his handkerchief and taking off his own heavy gold chain, put it around Deulkar’s neck. The corporator then put the handkerchief with Deulkar’s chain in his own pocket.

The fake corporator asked Deulkar not to remove the heavy chain he had given. After tea, when Deulkar went to work, he saw his wallet and was shocked that he did not have any money in it. He later found that the fake corporator’s chain around his neck was also fake.

Police Sub-inspector Sanjay Pawar from Vakola police station said, “As per the victim’s statement, they are four, but it is suspected  that there may be more than five members in the gang. We are trying to collect CCTV footage from the shops near the spot. We have not got any clue, but the FIR has been registered under sections 420 and 34 of the IPC and we are investigating the case.”

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