Mumbai Crime: Woman bag-lifter falls in cop trap after brief chase

She was quite active on the harbour line between Panvel and Mankhurd and trans-harbour line between Panvel and Thane

The accused Anita Shinde

A woman bag-lifter, who was active on the Harbour line between Panvel and Mankhurd and the trans-Harbour line between Panvel and Thane, and has been involved in a number of cases, was finally arrested from the Ghansoli station last Friday.

Two days ago, when the accused — identified as Anita Shinde — alighted from a Panvel-Mankhurd train, a Railway Protection Force (RPF) officer started following her. When she realised that a cop was after her, she smartly kept the plastic bag that she was carrying near the foot over-bridge (FOB) and continued walking. Thereafter, the officer informed a woman RPF staff, who immediately arrived at the spot and detained Shinde. On being interrogated, Shinde confessed that she was involved in a number of bag-lifting cases.

Later, a cleaning staff got her plastic bag to the RPF cops, who recovered four mobile phones from it.

Modus operandi
Shinde used to travel during peak hours — between 8 am-11 am and 6 pm-9 pm. In fully packed trains, she used to sit on the floor near the footboard. She said that as most women carry handbags with long handles, they used to dangle near her face, making it easy for her to steal valuables.

An RPF officer said, “At present, we have found her involvement in six to seven cases of bag-lifting at Turbhe, Vashi and Mankhurd stations.”

Past incident
On November 11, a woman by the name Jeevitha Ellipilli visited the RPF post at Turbhe and complained that two of her mobile phones were stolen while she was traveling in the 2nd class ladies coach of Thane Panvel Local on November 10. She also mentioned that two women, who were pushing her in the train, must have stolen the phones.

RPF says
Lokesh Sagar, RPF officer at Turbhe railway station told mid-day, “I asked a couple of officers to analyse the CCTV footage of that day. Two women were seen alighting together from the said coach of the local at Koparkhairane station. The victim identified them and said that they were the ones who had pushed her.” He further added, “Two teams were formed to trace the women. One was deployed at Turbhe station and the other at Ghansoli station. The second team caught hold of Shinde.”

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