Teenagers who robbed celebs, bizmen arrested

They looted celebrities and corporate honchos in high-rise areas, and then splurged the money on their girlfriends at plush nightspots. Crime Branch Unit VIII yesterday apprehended two college students, who targeted high-profile Mumbaikars and robbed them at knifepoint. They have been identified as Asif Ansari (19) and Mohammad Gavali (19). A third accomplice is on the run. All three are students of St Michael College at Kurla (E) and are from affluent families.

Asif Ansari
Asif Ansari and Mohammad Gavali, both 19, in Crime Branch's custody after being arrested from Kurla yesterday

Around 8.45 pm on January 3, Ronak Shashtriwal (25), a chartered account with a leading firm at BKC, left his office. He stopped his car near Mahavir Construction Company and was waiting for a friend. The three accused attacked him and dragged him to an undisclosed location. They threatened him with a knife and appropriated two mobile phones worth 35,000, and Rs 2,000 in cash. The offenders then fled the scene. The victim filed a complaint with BKC police, who handed over the case to Crime Branch.

The accused pursued prominent people, as they regularly needed hefty sums because of their lavish spending habits. The crimes were usually committed between Bandra and Andheri, including locales like Pali Hill, BKC, Lokhandwala etc. Police sources said the accused and their girlfriends frequented several posh pubs.

API Sanjay More from Crime Branch Unit VIII said, “The main accused targeted people with cars like Mercedes, Porsche and Skoda, assuming their financial status.” The booty would be sold off as second-hand at various places in the city. On receiving a tip-off, Crime Branch officials laid a trap and arrested two of the crooks at 10 am yesterday in Kurla.

“Both the accused have confessed. A team is searching for the third offender. If there are any other members in the gang, we’ll get them too,” said senior police inspector Deepak Patangare from Crime Branch Unit VIII. 

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