Mumbai: Mobile on silent mode leads cops to bike thieves

The complainant had kept the phone in his scooter to avoid being disturbed while visiting a sex worker

The police can get leads or clues for investigation from unexpected quarters. The DB Marg police were recently able to track down two people involved in stealing two-wheelers thanks to the complainant, who had left his mobile phone on silent mode in his scooter’s glove compartment, while visiting a sex worker. The police only had to locate the mobile phone to find his scooter. This led them to a total of 18 two-wheelers the duo had stolen.

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Imran Ansari (left) and Khijar Sayyed
Imran Ansari (left) and Khijar Sayyed

The police arrested Byculla resident Imran Hafiz Ansari (34), an employee of a Goregaon-based firm, and Mira Road resident Khijar Nadir Sayyed (24), who runs a garage in Byculla, on January 20 for stealing 18 two-wheelers from Mira Road, Bhiwandi, Vikhroli and Goregaon areas.

The police with the arrested accused, Ansari and Sayyed, and the two wheelers they recovered from them
The police with the arrested accused, Ansari and Sayyed, and the two wheelers they recovered from them

Police said the 26-year-old complainant (name withheld) had gone to a building in Grant Road in the wee hours of January 10 to visit a sex worker. He had parked his Honda Activa in the area. When he returned, he found it was stolen. He immediately reported the matter to the nearby Pavwala police chowki and told the police that to avoid being disturbed, he had kept the phone on silent mode in the dickey.

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The police tracked the phone’s location to Agripada’s Red Cross Street and traced the stolen scooter. They were surprised to find three other stolen bikes nearby. Senior Inspector Pandurang Shinde formed two teams comprising Sub-Inspector Nitin Lavande, Head Constable Mahesh Tavde, Naik Nandu Belnekar, Constables Salim Mujawar, Kirti Varadhi, Sachin Dubal, Prashant Sawant and Rajendra Mandlik to probe the matter. The police teams laid a trap for five days and nights in Agripada area and, on January 16, detained the two suspects.

Police says
“We checked the CCTV feeds nearby, in which the accused were seen keeping the stolen two-wheelers there,” said Rajendra Chavan, assistant commissioner of police, Gamdevi division.

Chavan added, “On the information provided by the two, the police recovered two wheelers which were stolen from the jurisdictions of LT Marg, VP Road Wadala, JJ Marg, Dadar, RAK Marg, Marine Drive, NM Joshi Marg and Matunga police stations.”

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Explaining the modus operandi, ACP Chavan said, “The two would roam around in south Mumbai’s crowded areas on a bike and after identifying two wheelers with unlocked handles, would tow them manually using their bike, to their place. They would then replace the bike’s registration plates with those from old (scrap) vehicles, which they had bought from LIC’s vehicle auctioners.”

They would sell few bikes and in order to make quick money would also mortgage them with moneylenders. An officer said the accused would always try to steal Bullets, as they fetch good money. Of the 18 recovered two-wheelers, four are Bullets and one is a Thunderbird.

The officer added that the accused had been operating since at least a year as the information provided by them also led police to a stolen bike in the Nair hospital compound. This bike was reported stolen a year ago. The accused have been remanded in police custody till today.

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