Luck ran out for a daylight burglar and his five accomplices after officials of the Crime Branch Unit XII arrested him from Goregaon bus depot on September 5.
Identified as Hajid Ali Mirza Baig alias Ajju (41), a resident of Marol Naka in Andheri (East), officials recovered two cars, Honda City and Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, a country-made pistol and two kilograms of gold worth Rs 54 lakh from his possession. His accomplices were identified as Mehrunissa Sayyed, his sister, and friends Vinodkumar Sanghvi, Kailas More, Deepak Mishra and Sanjay Kamadi.
What makes the case unique is the fact that instead of getting rid of the booty by selling it to other jewellers, Ajju and his sister opened a jewellery shop, called Padmavati Jewellers, in Zaveri Bazaar and sold the stolen jewellery at discounted rates.
“They gave Vinodkumar Sanghvi 25 per cent share in Padmavati Jewellers, while Ajju kept the remaining 75 per cent,” said Sadanand Date, Joint CP, Crime Branch. Date added that Ajju would enter posh societies with More, Mishra and Kamadi in the two cars, so that nobody suspected their ulterior motives.
“They would target societies that lacked CCTV cameras and watchmen. After entering a building, they would ring bells of apartments they suspected were closed. Once they were satisfied that the house was empty, they would break open the door using an iron rod to gain access and flee with the jewellery,” said Sunil Deshmukh, ACP, Crime Branch.
Ajju is a history-sheeter and has served a four-year term —from 2008 to 2012 — for committing 122 burglaries in Pune. Police said with Ajju’s arrest, they have solved 27 cases in the city and are hoping to solve 30 more. The accused purchased properties with the money he made by selling the booty and owns three houses in the city. “He has cases registered against him in Thane, Pune, Kolhapur, Dhule, Gujarat, Silvassa and Goa,” said Date.