Officials of the V P Road police station busted a major bike theft racket after arresting two adults and detaining a minor, and recovered 12 of the 16 stolen two-wheelers from their possession.
Surprisingly, one of the accused is a relative of former assistant commissioner of police and a son of a reputed builder from Nagpada. The arrested accused were identified as Mohammad Shahid Kadar Shaikh (18), a resident of Jairambhai Galli in Nagpada, his 17-year-old friend and 20-year-old Shadab Islam Qureshi.
The other two divulged Qureshi’s name during police interrogation. Shaikh and his teen friend were picked up after the officials received a tip-off about their involvement in the thefts. Based on revelations made by the duo, a team comprising PSI Milind Kate, Rajendra Surve and Sunil Mhaske raided Qureshi’s residence at Sonawala Apartment in Arab Galli, Nagpada, and recovered about nine Honda Activas and three motorcycles.
Police officials said the modus operandi implemented by the trio was ingenious. They would write the number of the two-wheeler at the spot on the road from where they stole it, leading the owner to think that the vehicle had been towed away by traffic police for parking illegally. Despite visiting the police chowkies on a regular basis, the owners would fail to locate their vehicles and assume that traffic personnel had misplaced them.
“Shaikh is an air conditioner mechanic and the minor used to help him steal bikes under the cover of dark. They would then approach Qureshi, son of a builder who has constructed several high-rises in Nagpada and Dongri, who would sell the bikes at a lesser price,” a police official said. Officials added that Qureshi was the relative of a retired ACP and would use his name to influence people.
“The accused stole a motorcycle from an area that falls under the jurisdiction of the JJ Marg police station, one from our jurisdiction and another six from DB Marg area. We are now trying to find out the locations where the remaining two-wheelers were stolen. The two adults have been remanded in police custody till May 4,” the officer said.