Trap was laid after the victim found his laptop being sold on OLX; the gang of four confessed to having committed 20 similar thefts
No matter how smart criminals are, they always end up making a mistake that lands them in the police net. Officials from Kurla Government Railway Police (GRP) arrested a gang of four thieves for stealing a laptop from a Badlapur-bound train and trying to sell it via OLX.
(Clockwise from top left) Imran Sheikh, Parvez Sayyad, Riyaz Kashmiri and Abdul Patni
Posing as buyers, the cops asked the thieves to come to Sandhurst Road station on the night of May 30 to hand over the gadget and nabbed them from there. The arrested thieves were identified as Dongri residents Riyaz Dawood Kashmiri (44) and Imran Abbas Shaikh (38) and Mumbra residents Parvez Mohammad Basir Sayyad (36) and Abdul Raheem Patni (43).
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Sub-inspector Ramesh Sankpal from Kurla GRP said, “The laptop was stolen from a Badlapur-bound train on May 28. The owner, Madhu Pillai, registered a complaint the next day. On May 30, the complainant discovered that his laptop had been put up for sale on OLX, following which he informed us.
He identified his laptop from a scratch in a particular spot.” The cops then laid a trap and one of them called the accused posing as a buyer. He asked the the seller to meet him at Sandhurst Road station to seal the deal. “The deal was struck at Rs 22.5k with Kashmiri, who had put the laptop for sale, following which he was arrested.
We then disclosed our identity and asked all his accomplices to turn themselves in, as our men had sealed all the escape routes. All of them surrendered,” said Sankpal. During interrogation, the quartet confessed to have committed 20 similar thefts.
The thieves said they would always target people travelling in first-class compartments on the Central Railway. So far, the cops have recovered goods worth R3.3 lakh from the four accused.
Commenting on the gang’s modus operandi, Sankpal said, “Sayyad and Patni would travel in trains and steal valuables, mostly laptops. They would enter a first-class compartment with an empty laptop bag. They would then pick up a bag from the luggage racks in the compartment and replace it with the empty one.
Kashimir and Sayyad, who have a diploma in laptop repair, would dismantle the gadgets and sell the parts.” Sankpal said this was the first time that the gang members had tried to sell a laptop without dismantling it and they ended up getting caught.
All four were booked under Sections 379 (theft) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. They were produced in court on June 1 and were remanded in police custody till today.