Mahendra Gupta, 29, claimed he had taken to stealing at the Ghatkopar Metro station two months ago to pay for the treatment of his three ailing daughters, who are all less than five years old; he was caught red-handed two weeks ago and let off, but did not change his thieving ways
A 29-year-old pickpocket, who had been stealing wallets from the Ghatkopar Metro station and other places for at least two months, was arrested by the Ghatkopar police on Monday.
Even on Monday, when he was arrested, Mahendra Kumar Gupta had stolen a wallet from a commuter at Wadala railway station. He then made his way to the Ghatkopar Metro station to carry out a few more thefts
During interrogation, Mahendra Kumar Gupta told the police that he had taken to thieving to pay for the treatment of his three ailing daughters, who are all under five years of age. According to the police, Gupta is a resident of Panvel and works with an Andheri-based company. “Gupta used to travel by Metro from Ghatkopar to get to his workplace in Andheri.
He has claimed that since his salary was just Rs 12,000 a month, he could not afford to pay for the treatment of his three ailing daughters as well as meet the other household expenses. He says he took to thieving because of this. We are verifying the claims,” said a police officer.
Series of thefts
Gupta has told the police that he stole his first wallet two months ago from the Ghatkopar Metro station to pay for his daughters’ treatment and decided to continue doing so when he realised that it was an easy way to get money.
Just two weeks, ago, in fact, Gupta was caught red-handed by a Metro passenger, who decided to let Gupta off with a warning and not file a complaint as he was in a hurry to get to work.
“On September 16, a complaint of theft was reported with our police station, in which the complainant, Ganesh Gangurde, had lost Rs 10,000 in cash. We began investigating and checked the CCTV footage, in which the crime can be clearly seen,” said an officer from the Ghatkopar police.
“All Metro employees knew about the complaint. On Monday, a security guard who was there when Gupta had been caught red-handed, saw him loitering at the Ghatkopar Metro station. He called him and asked him whether he was behind the theft on September 16, and Gupta admitted he was.
The security guard and his colleagues then handed him over to the police station,” the officer added. During his interrogation, the police found two wallets on Gupta and he admitted that he had stolen one of them at the Wadala railway station that day itself.
A complaint in this regard had been registered with the Wadala Government Railway Police (GRP). Gupta told the police that he had gone to the Ghatkopar Metro station to steal more wallets. “After the arrest of the accused, his father, who is a teacher, had come to the police station.
He claimed that Gupta is mentally unstable and has been receiving medical treatment,” said a police officer. Senior Inspector Venkat Patil from the Ghatkopar police station confirmed the arrest and said investigations are on.
Gupta has been booked under Section 379 (Theft) of the Indian Penal Code. He was produced in the Vikhroli court yesterday and remanded in police custody till September 28.