Mumbai: Feisty woman takes on purse snatcher, throws him off bike

Police say he's a first-time offender and targeted her when he spotted her travelling alone

Deepal Mehta is made of sterner stuff. A purse snatcher found that out the hard way when he made the mistake of targeting her on Friday.

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Deepal Mehta hails an auto after work on Western Express Highway at 3.45 am. Illustrations/Uday Mohite
Deepal Mehta hails an auto after work on Western Express Highway at 3.45 am. Illustrations/Uday Mohite

Mehta (42), an employee of a BPO call centre in the suburbs, flagged down an autorickshaw after work around 3.45am on the Western Express Highway to get to her home in Kandivli East. As the vehicle neared the Nesco Exhibition Centre’s gate-3 on the highway, a Scooty rider, Neeraj Govekar, caught up with the autorickshaw and tried to snatch her bag. The feisty woman, though, put up quite a fight. She held onto her bag tightly and after a short distance, yanked at the bag so hard that Goverkar fell off his bike. A Vanrai police patrol team, which was just 100 m away, saw the scuffle and rushed to nab Govekar.

Neeraj Govekar on a Scooty catches up with the vehicle and tries to snatch her bag
Neeraj Govekar on a Scooty catches up with the vehicle and tries to snatch her bag

Govekar, a resident of Santacruz, was arrested by the police on a robbery charge after Deepal filed a complaint. Govekar said he decided to target Mehta after spotting that she was travelling alone in the autorickshaw.

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Gutsy Mehta refuses to let go of her bag; gives it a hard tug, causing Govekar to tumble
Gutsy Mehta refuses to let go of her bag; gives it a hard tug, causing Govekar to tumble

Police patrol team spots the scuffle, rushes to nab him
Police patrol team spots the scuffle, rushes to nab him

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“From the interrogation, we have surmised that it is his first offence; he doesn’t have a criminal background. But we are still investigating,” said Chandrakaant Ghurav, senior Vanrai police inspector.

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