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Mumbai crime: How to loot students with a broken smartphone

A gang of young robbers, two of whom are in their teens, would claim that broken phone had cost Rs 20,000 and then snatch cash they could from the victim’s wallet

A gang of young robbers who had been using a unique modus operandi — and a broken mobile phone — to rob young students, is finally in the police net.

Thane resident Sunil Kumar Gupta alighted from a train at Ghatkopar station and started walking towards the bridge. Suddenly, someone walked right into him. Gupta then saw a broken phone on the ground.
Thane resident Sunil Kumar Gupta alighted from a train at Ghatkopar station and started walking towards the bridge. Suddenly, someone walked right into him. Gupta then saw a broken phone on the ground

The police said that the accused used to intentionally bump into young pedestrians, drop a broken phone on the ground, and kick up a fight. They would then accuse their victim of being responsible for the damage to their property, and demand money from them.

Failing to switch on the phone, the man started wailing. Another youth started yelling at Gupta for not watching his step. He accused Gupta of causing losses worth Rs 20,000
Failing to switch on the phone, the man started wailing. Another youth started yelling at Gupta for not watching his step. He accused Gupta of causing losses worth Rs 20,000.

“They used to carry a broken smartphone with them. Then, one of them used to bump into the student and throw that phone on the ground. After picking up the phone, he would feign shock at the fact that it was not working, and would create a scene, saying that he would get a scolding from his father over the broken phone.

A third man grabbed Gupta by the collar and told him to come to the police station. Snatching Gupta’s wallet, he then took all the cash that was in it – about Rs 4,000. Gupta then registered an FIR. Illustrations/Amit Bandre
A third man grabbed Gupta by the collar and told him to come to the police station. Snatching Gupta’s wallet, he then took all the cash that was in it – about Rs 4,000. Gupta then registered an FIR. Illustrations/Amit Bandre

The other guys would then threaten the victim and remove money from his wallet, even if there was only Rs 500 in it,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central Railway), Rupali Khairmode-Ambure. 20-year-old Sunil Kumar Gupta was robbed of Rs 4,000 at Ghatkopar station on March 19, and lodged a complaint on the same day.

The police then retrieved CCTV footage from Ghatkopar railway station and started asking locals if they knew the three accused, using their photos. “Our team, consisting of Police Sub-inspector Ramesh Sankpal and constables Konde, Salvi and Jadhav, learnt that the accused stayed in Vikhroli (West).

We picked them up; two of them are minors. The other accused has been identified as Shailendra Kailas Goswami and is 20 years old,” said Dhumal. The three youths are college dropouts and used to carry out robberies using the same modus operandi, targeting only students of their age.

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