Thief entered hotels in BMW, broke into parked cars to fund drug habit

The 33-year-old son of a businessman would break into the cars of weekend revellers and steal gadgets and other belongings to fund his drug habit

The 33-year-old son of an affluent businessman, who would be driven around in his white BMW as he committed thefts at posh hotels and bars to fund his drug habit, has been arrested.

With his BMW and well-to-do appearance, Irfan Farooq Memon (left) never drew any suspicion. His part-time chauffeurs, Anwar (centre) and Nazir (right), would drive him to posh hotels and bars, where he would break into the cars of patrons and steal laptops, music systems and other belongings
With his BMW and well-to-do appearance, Irfan Farooq Memon (left) never drew any suspicion. His part-time chauffeurs, Anwar (centre) and Nazir (right), would drive him to posh hotels and bars, where he would break into the cars of patrons and steal laptops, music systems and other belongings

He is thought to be involved in over 70 such cases. Always dressed impeccably and driven about by a chauffeur, the accused never drew any suspicion until the cops caught up with his two drivers, who also got a share of the spoils.

Senior police inspector Ramchandra Dhawale of Bandra police station said, “The accused was arrested late on Tuesday night. We suspect his involvement in several cases.”

Prodigal son
Irfan Memon (33), a resident of Bandra Talao, is the second son of a garments merchant who also owns online lottery businesses in Mumbai and Goa. The family had struggled to get rid of his drug habit but finally gave up and stopped giving him money, after which he resorted to thieving to keep the cash rolling in, said cops.

“He was even sent to a rehab centre twice, but that did not help. He is completely addicted to a costly liquid drug. After his family stopped giving him money, Irfan began to commit theft,” said a police officer. Irfan did not join the family business, nor does he have a job. However, the weekends — when the rest of the city took to partying — were when he went to work, targeting the rich patrons at five-star hotels and snazzy clubs.

Irfan had hired two part-time chauffeurs — Anwar Wasim Mohammad Hussain Khan (28) and Mohammad Nazir Hussain Rafiq Khan aka Baba (39) — who would drive him to prime partying locations in the city, such as Marine Drive, Worli, Bandra, Khar, Juhu and Oshiwara.

“Irfan committed the crimes mainly on Saturday and Sunday nights. The biggest advantage was that he was being driven about in a BMW and was well dressed, so he got easy access to posh hotels and pubs. No one ever stopped him,” said the officer.

He added, “Irfan would ask the driver to go to the parking lot and target another vehicle there. Before entering pubs and hotels, people usually leave their belongings in the cars. With the help of a glass cutter, he would break into the cars and steal laptops, bags, phones, music systems, etc.”

After stealing the items, Irfan would sell them and use the money to buy drugs. He also gave some money to the two drivers, who would also use drugs. The crime only came to light when API Mahesh Gurav of Bandra police station got a tip-off about two drug users who had stolen items. Gurav found Anwar and Nazir at their Nalasopara residences and brought them in, and they led the cops to Irfan.

Gurav said, “We recovered laptops which were stolen from the five-star hotel in Juhu, Sea Princess, and from Escape, a club in Oshiwara. During interrogation, the suspects named Irfan. Both suspects were handed over to the Santacruz police for further interrogation.”

The police are still trying to ascertain how many thefts were carried out by Irfan. “The accused committed crime in his own white BMW car. We arrested him after a tip-off. We are investigating how many similar incidents he was involved in,” said DCP (zone IX) Satyanarayan Chaudhary.

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