Based on the CCTV footage officials of the VP Road police station recovered after a couple of shops were looted in Charni Road, the trio which executed the crime was arrested on December 14. Investigation revealed that the three were a part of the same gang that had looted six shops in the same locality in September and returned to loot the two shops they failed to break-in during their first attempt. Later, based on the trio’s revelation, three of their accomplices were nabbed on December 17.
Police officials said six metals shops in Guru Rajendra House, located at Fifth Kumbharwada in Charni Road, were looted on September 9 and they were on the lookout for the gang ever since. They added that the footage captured during this break-in revealed that the thieves were unable to break-into the two shops they looted recently.
PSI Rajendra Surve of VP Road police station “The accused had then managed to flee with silver idols worth Rs 2.64 lakh.”
The trio also stole debit cards using which they later withdrew cash from two ATMs, one at JJ Marg and another in Colaba.
PSI Milind Kate of the VP Road police station said, “We checked our records for those involved in such crimes, but couldn’t trace the culprits despite our best efforts. The CCTV footage revealed that the thieves were professional housebreakers, as they managed to break-into shops in just a few seconds. But they could not do the same with the other two shops.”
Local shopkeepers once again approached police officials on December 10 informing them that the shops thieves had missed last time had been looted.
Kate said, “After scrutinising the CCTV footage, we learnt that this was the same group that had executed the last break-in. Footage inspection revealed that one of thieves had a bald patch on his head due to a head injury.
Based on the fact that money had been withdrawn from an ATM in Colaba, police officials approached their counterparts at Colaba and Cuffe Parade and checked records of all the history-sheeters in those areas.
“A constable from the Cuffe Parade police station, Rakesh Chavan, identified the accused with the head injury as Dilawar Shirajuddhin. His arrest led us to the remainder of the gang members him,” said Kate.
Investigation revealed that the gang was operated by Ravi Bhagwandas Verma (30), a resident of Ambedkar Nagar in Cuffe Parade. Dashrath Chaudhary, a taxi driver, was the gang’s informer, observer and transporter. “We have managed to open nine cases of housebreakings against the six. Verma used to work as a fisherman and after executing break-ins would escape using the sea route,” said Kate.