A serial con posed as the manager of a prominent five-star hotel in the city and on the pretext of placing a bulk order of goods, cheated a mobile shop owner of electronic items worth Rs 2.56 lakh and fled from the scene.
Narendra Sharma, who posed as the manager of ITC Grand Central, has 5 police cases registered against him. Cops said he regularly uses this modus operandi of meeting people in five-star hotels and cheating them
The accused was traced and arrested by the Bhoiwada police. According to the police, the accused was identified as Narendra Madanlal Sharma (48).
Police Sub-inspector Vishal Gaikwad from Bhoiwada police station said, “The incident occurred on June 14, when Sharma went to the lobby of ITC Grand Central in Parel to meet Ramesh Purohit, the owner of a mobile phone shop based in CST.
Sharma posed as one Ravi Kapoor, the manager of ITC Grand Central.” He then placed an order of 1,000 mobile phone batteries from Purohit, who told him he only had 750 units. Sharma agreed to ‘buy’ the pieces.
Sharma then asked the shop owner to deliver the goods to the hotel itself. When Purohit arrived in the hotel lobby with an employee from his shop, Sharma took only Purohit to the seventh floor, telling him to let his employee wait in the lobby.
Upstairs, he convinced Purohit to give him the invoice for the 750 batteries, saying he would return with the money soon. He asked the shopkeeper to wait there. “He then took a second lift and went to the lobby, where he showed the receipt as proof of purchase, and asked the employee to hand over the material.
Seeing the receipt, the worker obliged. Sharma fled the scene with nearly Rs 2.56 lakh worth of mobile batteries. Realising he had been cheated, Purohit registered a case with us,” said Senior Police Inspector Sunil Tondwalkar. Police then started hunting for Sharma. Using the mobile number he had called the victim from, police traced him to Bandra and arrested him last week.
They found out that he had sold a part of his haul to two men Imran Khan (28) and Siddique Shaikh (24) who helped him sell the stolen goods. Police said Sharma has used this modus operandi even earlier, and that Shaikh, who worked in Heerapanna market, would help him sell the goods he stole.
Cops have managed to recover batteries worth Rs 1.9 lakh, and the accused has been booked under sections 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 411 (dishonestly receiving stolen property) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.
Sharma has five cases registered against him in various city police stations and is currently with the Worli police for a past case, while his accomplices are in judicial custody. The victim refused to comment on the incident.