Pune: Police have identified the accused as Daulat alias Ravindra Bhimaji Kotwal (30) of Ashtapur, Raju Avatarsingh Pardeshi (42) from Paithan in Aurangabad, and Mohan alias Bapu Dashrath Virkar (33), Pankaj Raju Wankhede (29), Rajkumar Chintaman Butale (19), Ravi alias Bapu Hanumant Rane (34) and Balu Ram Salunkhe (32), all five from Wagholi.

Sunil Patil, inspector (unit II) from crime branch, said, “The main accused, Kotwal and Virkar, met in the jail. They later formed a gang, drafting other youths. They had taken shelter in Wagholi area. Interestingly, before committing any crime, they used to consume alcohol.”

“During interrogation of these accused, it has been revealed that Daulat and Virkar were involved in 27 chain-snatching incidents reported from various areas like Sahakarnagar, Bibwewadi, Dattawadi, Swargate, Bharti Vidyapeeth, Bund Garden, Vishrambaug, Hadapsar, Chinchwad, Mundhwa. Pankaj Wankhede and Ravi Rane have confessed to having committed two robberies at Hadapsar and Alandi Devachi, in which they had assaulted senior citizens and decamped with valuables,” he said.

“We have recovered 600 grams of gold from jeweller Pardeshi, who was acting as receiver of stolen ornaments from Virkar and Daulat Kotwal. There are three other jewellers from Chandan Nagar and other parts of Pune who used to purchase these valuables. Also, two bikes and a pistol, a live cartridge, and a knife has been seized from the miscreants,” Patil added.