The Mulund police arrested two of a band of four notorious robbers involved in more than 100 robberies across the city, after the gang, armed with a sword and rods, raided a photo studio in Mulund in the early hours of Thursday.
Cops said that the robbers had united inside Arthur Road jail and formed their gang while serving sentences for other robbery and theft incidents.
According to the police officials, the two arrested are Subaya Rangnath (34) and Chetan Kalpate. Cops have identified one of the absconding accused as Prabhu Deva while the identity of the fourth gang member is yet to be established.
An employee of Colo Photo Shop, which the gang had targeted around 2.30 am on Thursday, said, “They came to the spot in a taxi so that nobody would get suspicious about their intentions. Three of them (Rangnath, Kalpate and Deva) entered the shop, one with a sword and the other two with rods in their hands, while the fourth one waited outside.”
He added, “But a police patrolling van noticed the robbery taking places at our shop and notified the shop owner. Later I was called in and reached the shop at 4 am. We usually open by 9 in the morning and close by 9.30 pm.”
The accused stole seven cameras together worth Rs 90,000 from the shop.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Vasant Tajne of Mulund Division said, “The four accused in the case had initially met in Arthur Road jail a year back, after which they came out and became active. More than 100 cases are registered against Rangnath alone and many more against the others. Most are filed in South Mumbai police stations.”
According to police officials, Rangnath, who stays at Reay Road, was arrested by the Pydhonie police. He was detained immediately after a wireless message was sent out across all police stations about the robbers on the loose. Kalpate was arrested from his residence at Antop Hill after Rangnath disclosed his whereabouts.
The arrested duo has been remanded in police custody. The four have been booked under sections 380 (theft in dwelling house), 454 (house lurking), 455 (trespass or housebreaking after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint), 457 (trespass or housebreaking by night) and 34 (acts done by several persons) of the Indian Penal Code. ACP Tajne said, “We cracked the case within 24 hours of the incident. Our police team has been successful in recovering 100% of the goods robbed from Colo Photo Shop, and also the weapons in possession of the accused.”
Approximate number of robberies Subaya Rangnath alone has been booked for
Value of the seven cameras the gang stole from Colo Photo Shop