Posing as shopkeepers, Gang of seven looted Rs 6 crore in 3 months

The miscreants recced godowns across the city during the day, and struck at night; four of them have been arrested while three are still on the run

A day after four men were arrested for committing a burglary atthe showroom of Chandan Living and Interiors on Nagar Road, the Yerawada police claim this gang was involved in at least seven more similar robberies reported in the last three months.

Posing as shopkeepers, the gang of seven led by gangster Tejas Unecha, used to first conduct reconnaissance at godowns during the day and used to break in to the same warehouse at night. 

Big catch: Yerawada police have recovered Rs 40 lakh worth of stolen good from the gang (seated) who broke into several warehouses at night and made away with LED televisions, tyres, etc. Pics/Krunal Gosavi

Yerawada Police arrested them on Monday and recovered goods worth Rs 40 lakh from their possession. The arrested persons have been identified as Unecha (27), who is the mastermind behind these robberies, Sachin Sartape (23), Nilesh Sakore aka Appa (26), and Mukesh Somavanshi aka Angad (27).

Police said they targeted godowns and shops located in different areas, which included Lonikand, Shirur, Bhosari, Yerawada and Lonikalbhor. The total cost of the goods looted by the gang is estimated to be worth Rs 6 crore.

Three members of the gang are absconding and police are looking out for them.

Police speaks
Deputy Commissioner of police (zone 4) Manoj Patil said, “The main suspect in this case Unecha who has previous cases registered against him that include murder and dacoity. During a stint in prison, he met the others and formed a team and then looted the shops. Interestingly, Unecha used to sell the stolen goods from the two shops owned by him that are situated in Vadgaon Sheri and Saswad.”

Senior police inspector Kishor Jadhav said, “Unecha is an accomplice of gangster Rahul Kandhare and is involved in many serious offences. He was residing in Kharadi under a fake identity of Tejas Kakade, as his wife’s surname before marriage is Kakade. Unecha runs a garment shop in Vadgaon Sheri area and an automotive store in Saswad.

Accused Sakore alias Appa, too, owns a garment shop in Vadgaon Sheri. This gang used to conduct recce during the daytime by approaching the godown owners posing as shop keepers looking to buy wholesale goods and later target the same godowns in the night.”

Appealing to the business fraternity, DCP Patil said, “It is new ruse of robbery wherein these miscreants come like customers and get details of the shop. So it is the responsibility of businessman to inform the police, if they find any suspicious person around their stores.”
Different kind of goods were seized from gang, which include 30 LED television sets, 46 tyres, 4 air-conditioning machines, 1,000 pieces of ready made dresses. Also three vehicles were taken into custody, which were being used to commit the robberies.

Shopkeeper speaks
Sanjay Khandagale, owner of Bhagya Laxmi Ladies fashion clothes in Wagholi whose goods worth Rs 3 lakh were looted, said, “One of the gang member had visited our shop in October, inquiring about the rates of the clothes. The next day our shop was robbed. We are thankful to the police for tracking them down and nabbing them. The gang was threat to all shop owners inthe city.”

Amit Awale, another storeowner whose goods worth Rs 5 lakh were looted, said, “All the goods were taken away during the robbery at our shop. We take goods on credit and if such robberies happen, it is very hard to survive in the business for small businessmen like us.”

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