Pune: Minors stole cellphones worth Rs 3 lakh from windows

Fuelled by a desire to party and live the good life, teens were driven to commit the crime

Beware! Never keep your cell phone for charging near windows or the main door as in Pune, four minors have been detained by police for allegedly stealing mobile phones kept at such vulnerable places. And believe it or not, it was just the desire to party hard, wear branded clothes and watch movies in multiplexes that drove them to get involved in the crime. Nearly 47 smartphones worth R3 lakh have been recovered from them, which they had stolen in a span of three months.

After a couple of such incidents took place in five housing societies within the jurisdiction of Yerawada police station, the cops stepped up vigil and caught hold of the gang. Of the four members of the gang, two are school dropouts while the other two are school students.

In-charge of Yerawada police station, inspector Mukund Mahajan said, "After compiling the data of the past three months regarding petty thefts in the area, we noticed that nearly 78 such incidents have taken place in which mobile phones, jewellery and watches have been stolen. Most of the goods were stolen from the first and ground floor flats. The incidents mostly took place in Jail Road, Laxminagar and Parana Kuti."

Easy pickings
He added, "Based on the data we investigated and found that the stolen cell phones were kept near windows and doors. Thereafter, we zeroed in on the kingpin of the gang, a 16-year-old boy, who has past criminal record. After that we detained the remaining members. The handsets were recovered from the house of the kingpin's friend."

Speaking about the modus operandi, investigating officers of the case Balashaheb Bhairat and Ramesh Sabale said, "The kingpin of the gang trained minors in stealing cell phones with chargers. They used to target the mobile handsets kept for charging near windows and doors of unlocked houses. Then they would throw away the sim card and switch off the cell phone. Thereafter, they would hand over the stolen phones to the kingpin." They added, "For stealing a cell phone, the minors used to get something between Rs 300 and Rs 500. Sometimes the phones were sold at cheaper rates as well." The minors were produced before the Juvenile Justice Board and were later sent to observation homes.

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