Mumbai Crime: Meet Kurla station's failed blade runners

Thieves carry a blade with them and whenever any police officer tries to arrest them, they attempt to attack a cop. Another common tactic is spitting on cops
Thieves carry a blade with them and whenever any police officer tries to arrest them, they attempt to attack a cop. Another common tactic is spitting on cops

Petty thievery on trains is some serious business, Railway Protection Force (RPF) officials have discovered. After an arrest on August 5, Kurla RPF officials have uncovered the various modus operandi used by local train thieves to evade arrest, a dominating one being the use of blades.

At the time of arrest, some of them even remove their clothes, mostly their shirts and pants and try to make an easy escape from police custody
At the time of arrest, some of them even remove their clothes, mostly their shirts and pants and try to make an easy escape from police custody

Putting his neck on the line
On August 5, RPF staff was alerted and briefed about three suspects who were caught on CCTV committing a mobile theft in a first class compartment on Kurla station.

Also read - Mumbai: Pickpocket threatened victims with blade hidden in mouth

On the same day, one of these suspects was seen near the Kalyan end of the foot over bridge of the same platform, rounded off and nabbed by RPF. One of these thieves slashed his own neck before the police nabbed him.

The accused generally walk on railway tracks to collect an oily substance spilled from express trains and apply it on their hands to slip away if they're caught
The accused generally walk on railway tracks to collect an oily substance spilled from express trains and apply it on their hands to slip away if they're caught

Suresh Atri, an inspector at Kurla RPF said, "The suspect was brought to the Kurla RPF office. Upon enquiry, he led the staff to the Kurla West bus depot, where staff nabbed two others. During the arrest, one of the suspects, identified as Sakir Salim Sayed, 24, injured his neck with a blade he had. The staff over powered him and all three were brought to the RPF office in Kurla. The other two accused were identified as Nooruddin Sallauddin Qureshi, 29, Sohib Sallauddin Sayed, 24."

Another dirty trick is poo-flinging. Some throw the excreta towards cops while being arrested or when they're at the police station. Illustration/Ravi Jadhav
Another dirty trick is poo-flinging. Some throw the excreta towards cops while being arrested or when they're at the police station. Illustration/Ravi Jadhav

Further enquiry of the three resulted in the recovery of a Samsung phone worth R9, 090 that was stolen by the three. The accused were later handed over to Kurla GRP.

Seize to desist
Before this arrest, the RPF had come across another blade wielding thief. On July 27, RPF arrested one Sadik Sheikh, 26, who stole a phone from a passenger on a CSMT-bound train. When they were bringing him to the RPF office, he injured himself on his head with a blade, but the staff tactfully brought him to the office, where he pretended to have convulsions to evade arrest. He was arrested anyway and a stolen Samsung phone valued R8,900 was recovered from him.

All for blade-y safety
A third thief with a penchant for blades is history-sheeter Asif Akhtar Raees Sheikh, 35.

Last month, the RPF's Mahila Vahini held Shaikh, who always carries a blade for safety. He was attempting to steal from a passenger boarding a train from platform 7 at Kurla station. He wasn't successful in committing the theft and was held by a female RPF constable while he was trying to escape. He had previously been caught on January 14 and April 20.

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