Sting operations help cops nab thieves who stole Rs 32 lakh pen drives

Prakash Sawant (51) and Julfikar Khan (27) bit off a few more gigabytes than they could chew. Sahar police officials have apprehended the duo involved in the robbery of 8,250 pen drives in August. The devices with denominations of 4, 16 and 32 GB are valued at about Rs 32 lakh. Cops alleged that the duo had swiped the merchandise from a truck and locked it again. The incident took place in the wee hours, while the driver and the cleaner of the vehicle were asleep. 

The matter was reported to Sahar police on August 14. The driver and cleaner had been handed the consignment late at night. While they were in deep slumber, the crooks stole the goods, and locked the shutter of the truck. However, after a case was registered, cops couldn’t get any leads, and finally decided to conduct some sting operations.

“The complainant, Harish Joshi, told us that every pen drive had a tag attached to it, and he would easily identify one if he came across it. We then formed a team consisting of Sub-inspector Sunil Bide and Assistant Inspector Dattatrey Deshmukh. They started conducting sting operations at various places, like Crawford Market, Manish Market, Lamington Road, CST, Dadar, Seepz and Kurla, but couldn’t get any breakthroughs initially,” said Senior Inspector Ravindra Patil from Sahar police station.

In the sting operations, the cops masqueraded as costumers. The complainant was also roped in, so he could spot one of the pen drives, if somebody came to sell it. “After they started scanning the nooks and corners of Sahar police station’s jurisdiction, the team finally came across Sawant, who tried to sell them one of the devices. When the complainant recognised it and gave a signal, the police officials asked Sawant if he could get more such pen drives.”

Suspecting nothing, Sawant led them to the whole consignment. He confessed to the crime and was arrested. Later, Khan too was picked up. “The two had kept the merchandise in their house at Sahar. They claimed that they decided to commit the robbery, after spotting the driver and the conductor sleeping,” added an officer. The duo has been booked under sections 379 (punishment for theft) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC.

Total number of pen drives stolen 

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