In yet another incident targeting petrol pump employees, four unidentified suspects assaulted the manager of the Pimple petrol pump who was on his way to the bank and looted Rs 18.75 lakh cash at the busy Chinchwad station area on Pune-Mumbai Highway, just a few metres away from the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone III) office — on Monday morning around 11 am.

Mumbai-Pune Highway
Policemen at the crime spot where the assault occurred on the Mumbai-Pune Highway. Pic/Mohan Patil

A case has been registered against the unknown persons at Pimpri police station, under section 394 (voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. Police have got CCTV footage of the incident from the Empire Estate society and the petrol pump, and are seeking help from a mechanic who witnessed the entire incident.
A similar incident had happened at a petrol pump in Kelawadephata near Khed-Shivapur on June 2.

The suspects assaulted pump staffer Maula Shaikh with sharp weapons and decamped with Rs 20.57 lakh cash — the pump’s collection over the weekend which was supposed to be deposited in bank (‘Bike-borne assailants loot R20lakh from petrol
pump employee’, mid-day, June 3, 2014).

Police are investigating whether there is any link between the two incidents. In yesterday’s case, pump manager Ashok Achyut Tekale (22) and employee Shivkumar Saroj were going on their bike to Bharat Cooperative Bank, located at the Empire Estate building, to deposit the pump’s weekend collection.

“Saroj was riding and Tekale had the bag of cash. One of the suspects showed up on a red motorcycle hit Saroj’s bike from behind, and the duo fell. Meanwhile, three more persons came on a black bike and started hitting Tekale with an iron rod. They then fled with the cash in the direction of Nigdi,” police said.

Speaking with the media, senior manager of the pump, Sachin Navandar, said that the robbery seemed planned. “We suspect the role of six persons, who came on three motorcycles. Of the three, one motorcycle was at the petrol pump while the other two were seen on the crime spot,” he stated.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (Crime) Rajendra Bhamare said, “We have got the numbers of the vehicles used by the suspects, and other information about them. We are analysing the CCTV footage and interrogating criminals on our record involved in similar crimes.”

“We are also trying to ascertain if the same gang is involved in the Khed-Shivapur robbery and the Pimpri incident. Both assaults took place on highways and on Monday mornings, when the pump employees were on their way to deposit cash collected over the weekend in banks,” ACP Bhamare said.