Cops bust tyre mafia with arrest of ringleader Rani, 3 others
Rani Mani Arjun isn't your ordinary scrap dealer. With a massive network of thieves across the city, the 45-year-old is also notorious for stealing tyres from heavy vehicles. On Monday, the RCF police finally nabbed the ringleader and three gang members.
According to the police, Rani is a repeat offender with several cases against her. The other three accused, identified as Ajay Kewat (23), Ahmad Sahab Sahikh (45) and Shakil Khan (50), are only cogs in the wheel of this widespread nexus.
Over the last few months, the RCF police had received several complaints of heavy vehicle tyre theft. Based on a tip-off, the police managed to trace Rani and the others at Vashi naka on Monday. As part of her modus operandi, Rani would connect with thieves, who were professionals at removing tyres. Kewat, for instance,
would steal at least six tyres a day from parked vehicles. "He can remove a tyre within seven to eight minutes," said an officer. She would then buy these for anywhere between R3000 and R4,000, and sell it in the market for R10,000.
The stolen tyres that were retrieved by the RCF police
When contacted, Sahaji Umap, deputy commissioner of police, Zone 6, said, "Rani's crime list is long. As per our records, there are around 17 offences registered against her under various IPC sections."
The accused have been arrested under Section 379 (punishment for theft) of the IPC. "We will be investigating the other cases against her," Umap said.
Back in 2000, Rani worked as a ragpicker in Vashi naka. She first got her hands dirty when she stole metal and other iron machinery from an abandoned godown and sold it to scrap dealers. By 2004, she had started her own scrap dealing business, and formed a gang that stole metal scrap.
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