Mumbai: Man turns sleuth to track down stolen car, cops turn a blind eye
Fed up with apathetic cops, Rakesh Selvaraj (30) sifted through hours of CCTV footage from toll nakas across Mumbai until he spotted his stolen SUV; despite handing over evidence, cops are yet to take any action
Losing his prized SUV hit this 30-year-old citizen hard, but it was police apathy that really drove him to take matters in his own hands and launch a full-fledged investigation on his own.
Rakesh Selvaraj visited all the entry and exit points to Mumbai to check if he could spot his car anywhere. He eventually spotted the car and two suspects at Virar (above) and three other nakas
Not only has he been on leave from work for over two weeks, he has used this time to visit toll nakas across the city, scouring the CCTV footage there in search of his stolen car. What’s more, he spotted his car and two suspects in the footage from Virar naka and delivered this evidence to the cops, to no result.
Rakesh Selvaraj claims the police showed little interest in the investigation of his stolen SUV
On the morning of June 9, Rakesh Selvaraj discovered that his car (Scorpio, MH-14-BQ-7575) had been stolen from outside the BSES building in Gorai 3, Borivli (West), where he lives. He immediately informed the MHB police and registered an FIR with them.
Selvaraj spotted his car and two suspects in the footage from Virar naka, and has delivered this evidence to the police
Selvaraj alleges that the cops were not interested in solving the case and seemed unenthusiastic about registering his complaint as well. After a couple of days without any news from the police, he took two weeks’ leave from the courier company where he works.
“I searched the toll nakas at the entry and exit points to the city, such as Thane, Mulund and Dahisar, and went through the CCTV footage to track down my car. I saw that my car had passed through Dahisar, the footage was not very clear.
Later, I saw the car at the Virar toll naka, and could also clearly see two men sitting in it,” said Selvaraj, who also identified his car at the Charoti and Bhagvada toll nakas.
On June 23, armed with the footage, Selvaraj went to the police’s Motor Theft department near the Yellow Gate police station, where the officers found that one of the accused looked strikingly similar to a history-sheeter called Salman Khan alias Irfan Pathan Khan, who was arrested in 2010 for another car theft.
With the help of the police control room, he also put out word about the theft and passed on information about his car details on the police wireless. He gave a copy of the FIR to the local police at each of the toll nakas he had spotted his car passing through but all this should have been done by the MHB police, he said.
The very next day (June 24) he even collected the CCTV footage and delivered it to MHB police station, but one of the cops allegedly told him that the video was not clear enough and that he should first have it brightened and then bring it back to the police station. Selvaraj gave the police the video almost a week ago, but no action has been taken yet.
Despite several attempts to contact the MHB police, no one was available for comment However, Additional Commissioner (North) Fateh Singh Patil said, “I don’t have any knowledge about this incident. I will ask the concerned officer to search for the car. We also will check the CCTV footage from the toll naka and will look into it.”
Another resident of Borivli (West), Pankaj Ambekar’s Innova was stolen from Govind Nagar on June 17. According to him, there have been several motor thefts in the vicinity, but the victims face similar apathy from the local cops.