He had a good run, but the long arm of the law caught up. Mahesh Parmar, 49, a serial bag snatcher operating between Bandra and Andheri on the WEH for many months, was arrested by the Khar police on Tuesday.
Officers said he used to target people travelling in autorickshaws, riding parallel to their vehicles on a bike, snatching their bags and zooming off on the highway, home to Dahisar. The police said nearly a dozen police stations had been put on his tail for the last five months, after a series of thefts was reported.
Hide and seek
According to the Khar police, unlike other snatchers, who work in pairs, Parmar operated alone. "Apart from highway robberies, he had committed three thefts in our jurisdiction," said Pandurang Lonkar, assistant inspector at Khar police station.
An officer part of one of the teams formed to nab him said, "We laid several traps, asking our women constables to walk on the highway with their bags; we also sent some of them in autos, asking them to hold their bags in such a way that half would be outside the vehicle; but it didn't work." The police procured CCTV footage and even caught him on it - a biker wearing full-sleeved checked shirt and formal shoes - only they didn't know they had caught him as he would have a helmet on.
The police finally managed to zero in on him based on his bike - a bright, shiny red machine. Nearly 12 policemen from Khar police station were put on the task of finding him, and the team was finally able to identify him based on his two-wheeler. A source said, "We circulated the CCTV grab of him riding to our all informers. On Tuesday, one of them called and said the bike had been spotted in Dahisar. A Khar police team visited the location and laid a trap, apprehending the accused."
Parmar lived with his wife; the couple didn't have any children. He had told her that he was working as a supervisor at a Bandra-based builder's construction site. The police arrested him under section 392 (robbery) of the Indian Penal Code and produced him in court; he's been sent to judicial custody.
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