A 22-year-old man who showed up at the same building to steal for a third time has been arrested. Saifullah Shaikh, who hails from West Bengal and resides at Wadala, was nabbed on the night of August 26. Shaikh had already been to Matoshree Towers, which is located at Mahim, twice. On his first visit on July 5, he stole from the home of Hemant Chauhan, a retired professor who taught at DG Ruparel College in Matunga.
Chauhan stays on the third floor of the B-Wing of the building, and Shaikh had made off with around 63 tolas (approximately 735 grams) of gold jewellery, watches and other expensive items from his house. In the same visit, Shaikh had also raided the Student Wing office of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, which is on the second floor of the same wing. From there, he managed to steal Rs 2,000 from the wallets of the sleeping workers, and Rs 8,000 from another house on the first floor.
Shaikh’s modus operandi was to climb the building with the help of drainage pipes. He would then target the flats without iron grills on the windows and enter them by opening the sliding windows. “Everyone had lodged a complaint that they found their sliding windows and cupboards opened, and their valuables missing,” said Vinayak Kakade, senior police inspector at Shivaji Park police station. After registering the complaint, the police started their investigations. “We started picking up all the criminals who were known to use the same method to steal,” said Rushi Inamadar, sub inspector at Shivaji Park police station.
Meanwhile, a resident of the A-Wing of the building lodged another complaint. Shaikh’s second attempt at stealing was unsuccessful and he had fled from the spot on August 17. This had alerted both the police and the locals. On August 26, when locals found a man roaming around suspiciously at midnight, they immediately informed the police, who rushed to the spot and nabbed Shaikh. After his arrest, the police questioned Shaikh and recovered most of the stolen valuables.
“We have managed to recover around 33 tolas (approximately 385 grams) of gold from him, worth Rs 8 lakh. We have also arrested the jeweller to whom he sold the rest of the gold,” said Dhananjay Kulkarni, Deputy Commissio-ner of Police, Zone V. Most people on the first three floors of the building had not fixed iron grills to their windows. Taking advantage of this, Shaikh used to climb the building with the help of drainage pipes and parapets. He had recently been released after spending a year in jail. He had been convicted in two cases — a theft and a housebreaking case — both at Sewri. Shaikh was remanded to a 14-day judicial custody yesterday.