The experienced duo would gain entry into buildings disguised as cable operators or MTNL employees, and break into empty homes
In one fell swoop, Unit VI of the Mumbai Crime Branch has solved 20 cases of house break-ins, with the arrest of two men. The duo were not just seasoned robbers, but had keen business sense, and used to loan out the stolen cash with interest, so that they could earn at least Rs 1 lakh every month as interest alone.
The two accused, identified as Parshuram Shendge (30) from Kausa in Mumbra, and Deepak Patange (20) from Versova, had broken into many houses in the city. According to the police, the duo would lurk in neighbourhoods in the city’s Western suburbs.
They would be on the lookout for mailboxes stashed with unclaimed mail and newspapers, which they knew were likely to belong to homes that were unoccupied. Once they made sure that the house was empty, they would break into it and clean it out in just 10 minutes.
“They are very sharp and experienced. Shendge was last arrested in 2005 and released in 2006. For a while after getting out of jail, he stopped breaking into homes, but went back to his old ways soon.
He would dress well and tell people that he was a cable operator or MTNL employee, in order to enter the building,” said K M M Prasanna, additional commissioner of police, Mumbai Crime Branch.
Once they gained entry into the building, they would identify their target apartments with flowers and newspapers accumulated over days. Using iron rods, they would prise open the door and flee with valuables and cash within minutes.
“They are telling us they have been active since 2011, and have carried out around 40 break-ins at Santacruz, Juhu, Khar and Bandra. We are identifying other spots. Till now, we have detected 20 cases,” said Prafful Bhosale, assistant commissioner of police, Crime Branch.
Not just content with the money they stole, they had an interesting mechanism in place to make their gains bigger. They would loan out the stolen money, asking for 2 per cent interest. By the time they were arrested, they had lent a total of R50 lakh to several clients, and were getting 2 per cent interest on the amount.