Pranjal and his friend get down from the cab at Walkeshwar to get sweets. The cabbie leaves, saying he has to finish his shift
This past Saturday was an emotional roller coaster for 20-year-old Girgaum resident Pranjal Trivedi.
The final-year BCom student at HR College in Churchgate lost two of his iPhones in a taxi, and got them back — all in a day, thanks to help from the Mumbai police.
Pranjal hails from Lucknow and lives in a rental apartment with his friends in Girgaum.
After getting the sweets, Pranjal realises he's left his iPhones in the cab. He goes to the police station to register a complaint
He and his friend were on their way to their landlord's home on Saturday morning when the incident occurred. They left home at around 9 am and boarded a kaali-peeli from Girgaum Chowpatty. "I was carrying two of my iPhones 6S, as I had to give one of them for repair at Heera Panna. When we reached Walkeshwar, I thought of taking some sweets for my landlord. So, I got down and asked the cab driver to wait," Pranjal told mid-day, adding, "But he refused, saying he was on a night shift and wanted to hand over his taxi. So, I had to leave the taxi there itself."
Senior sub-inspector Sanjat Sarolkar informs the control room, which gets the car's number plate from CCTV footage
After getting down, Pranjal bought the sweets, but realised he'd lost his phones. "We started calling on my number through a friend's cellphone, but the driver wasn't picking up. We called almost 50 times. After 30 minutes, the phone was switched off. It was unusual because I had charged the phone just before leaving. I realised someone must have taken it and switched it off," added Pranjal.
Also read: Thief caught with 2 phones at Thane station
"The first thought that came to my mind was to get the registration number of the taxi. I rushed to Girgaum Chowpatty and asked cops about where I could get CCTV footage of the taxi to get its registration number. The cops directed us to Malabar Hill police station and so, we went there," said Pranjal. At the police station, Pranjal spoke to sub-Inspector Sanjat Sarolkar, who registered a complaint and informed the south region control room. The control room checked CCTV footage and saw its number near the Girgaum Chowpatty bandstand. They got the registration number around 5.30 pm.
Cops launch search operation and find the cabbie, who says he was going to return the phones. Pranjal finally gets the phones
When they contacted the RTO office, they were told the offices are closed and they'd have to wait till Tuesday. "I was in tears; my parents had given me the iPhones and I lost both of them. That's when assistant police inspector Suresh Chorat came in and said he will call his contacts and see what can be done," said Pranjal. Within a few minutes, they received information that the taxi belongs to a Chor Bazaar resident.
A team was sent to Chor Bazaar, but the family of the taxi owner told them that he was at his hometown and would return two days later. Two drivers drove the taxi, but the family did not have their contact numbers. An officer from Malabar Hill police station said, "I contacted the taxi owner and he said his taxi was parked between Teen Batti and Raj Bhavan. We spotted the taxi and placed a person there to keep a watch on it. When a man came to start the taxi, he was taken to the police station.
He was identified as Dinesh Mahato. He said he wasn't receiving calls because he was late for work and thought he'd return the phone once he gets done with work."
Dinesh immediately returned the phones. "We are proud of our officials. It's not easy to find a phone when it's lost in the city, but our cops managed to get it back within hours with consistent efforts," said Dr Dnyaneshwar Chavhan, DCP, zone two.
Watch video: Leopard attacks stray dog for breakfast in Mumbai
Download the new mid-day android app to get updates on all the latest and trending stories on the go https://goo.gl/8Xlcvr