Mumbai crime: Police nab thief who targets Jain condolence ceremonies

The thief would arrive at a family wake dressed in white to avoid arousing suspicion, and steal the mourners’ belongings

A thief who stole from people while they grieved the loss of a loved one has finally landed in the police net. Shivaji Park police arrested a 50-year-old who would target the Gujarati Jain community present at condolence ceremonies for the deceased.

Identified as Amin Abdul Shaikh, the thief would dress in the customary white to blend in with other mourners at the vigil. When the mourners would go to offer their condolences to the grieving family, Shaikh would take off with their belongings.

Caught on cam
According to police officials, this was a daily practice for Shaikh. “Several CCTV tapes were recovered wherein the accused has randomly picked up bags and wallets from condolence prayer halls. He always visited these ceremonies wearing white attire. The victims would get up from their seats to console the deceased’s relatives and come back to find their belongings missing,” said a police officer.

After receiving the CCTV footage and identifying Shaikh, the police called him to the police station, where he confessed to the crimes and was arrested on Thursday. Shaikh, a Mumbra resident, targeted areas predominantly populated by Gujarati Jains. He had also targeted several wedding halls dressed up as a member of the wedding party.

The investigators said they opened three cases with the Shivaji Park police station, and another two at the Matunga station.

They expect to register more cases, as similar instances have been reported in Mulund and other areas. Shaikh has been booked under Section 379 (theft) of the Indian Penal Code, and has been remanded to police custody till September 15.

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