Three men who would steal cars from under the unsuspecting noses of drivers and onlookers have finally been nabbed by the Khar police. The accused have been identified as Arjun Mani Gounder (23), Anthony Joseph Samuel alias Raju (54) and Chandra (68). All hail from wealthy and respectable families. Officers from Khar police station revealed that Arjun and Anthony would mastermind the thefts.
The trio had not one, but two clever ruses up their sleeve to make away with cars. On occasions, Arjun and Anthony would first look up long distance cab services for tourists on the Internet. Arjun would then book a trip using the phone number provided online. They would ask to be picked up from Carter Road in Bandra (West). When the car arrived as per schedule, Arjun would receive it, board it, and instruct the driver to switch on the AC, to prep the car for his boss.
Arjun would then tell the driver to fetch the luggage from his boss’ building. As the driver went off to fetch the bags, Arjun would flee with the car. Arjun and Anthony would later change the number plate of the cab, get it repainted, and sell it in Daman & Diu.
The gang also had another method – they would recce areas of their choice, on the lookout for cars parked for long hours. They would then call for towing trucks, after convincing locals that the car as theirs and had broken down. They would then have the car towed to CST Road in Kurla. Stepping in to play his part, the other accused Chandra would then get the car scrapped in his garage.
Cops expressed surprise over the fact that car thieves hailed from respectable and wealthy families, one of them even owning a garage of his own.
On Wednesday, cops received a tip-off from informers, telling them that Arjun and Anthony were arriving at Carter Road to conduct a theft. The two were then arrested. They divulged Chandra’s involvement during interrogations, who was then arrested.
“The accused have committed many such thefts. Investigations will reveal the exact number of their crimes,” said API Nitin Patil of Khar police station.
“We have arrested the accused under Sections 379, 411 and 34 of the IPC. The modus operandi of the accused is very unique, as they did not commit crimes by breaking locks of targeted cars or by duplicating keys, but directly took them away in front of people. They appeared so confident that no one got suspicious,” added Patil. Four cars have been recovered from the accused.